Toward a Complete Education

On October 9, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Nury Martinez introduced a visionary and sweeping resolution to establish the arts as part of the district's core curriculum, placing it alongside math, reading, history, and science as essential components of a student's K-12 education. The resolution, titled "Student Achievement, Educational Equity, and Mastery of 21st Century Workforce Skills through Arts at the Core," makes a comprehensive argument for the arts' place at the table, citing the wealth of research on the impact of arts-rich education on student success within and beyond their K-12 education. After hearing public comment from actor and esteemed collector of Latin American art Cheech Marin; actress, philanthropist, and parent Monica Rosenthal; former teacher of the year Carlos Lauchu; Boeing executive Jim Herr; Los Angeles County Arts for All's director Denise Grande; education funder Matty Sterenchock; and students from Carlos Santana Arts Academy, the board responded by approving the resolution unanimously.

…When we show up as advocates of complete education, however, we invite everyone to be on our side. We invite opposition to arts-rich education to articulate why a limited or incomplete curriculum is appropriate in our schools. Furthermore -- and this is likely our most important opportunity -- we make ourselves the ally of everyone advocating for education, from those supporting the value of STEM to those calling for more physical education to even those advocating for better support for low-income and at-risk students. And this is because an arts-rich education supports everyone. It doesn't just create artists. It creates journalists, mayors, CEOs, scientists, stay at home parents, members of the armed forces, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and professional athletes.