We strive to inform, mentor and help all Americans who care to understand what is honestly wrong in K-12 public and charter school education today and how to help make it the best it can be for all students, including the "academically" disadvantaged. Stop high-stakes standardized testing (refer to our Stop High-Stakes Standardized Testing package)!

Parents and Students for Music and Arts (PSMA) actively advocates that every student should receive a complete and well-balanced "whole-student" education, with equal access for all, including music and other arts studies and students pre-K through 12th grade. More arts = better futures.

Yes, you can make a difference, and together we will make a difference.

"You must be the 'change' you wish to see in the world."

-Mahatma Gandhi

Why Arts?

When started in earliest education levels, pre-K and beyond music and other arts integrated produces student creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, imagination, enthusiasm and so much more, plus it sends the young off with a lasting love of learning. Emphasis on math and English standardized testing barely scratches the surface of kids' intellectual potential. Maximum performance, not the minimum standards measured by tests, should be the aim. For more information, refer to item #6: "300+ Unequal-Access Revealing Articles".

Trade Easy Pleasures for More Complex and Challenging Ones
by Gloria Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

"The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society. This is not happening now in America's schools. If the United States is to compete effectively with the rest of the world in a new global marketplace, the educational system must produce students with creativity, ingenuity and innovation. It is hard to see those qualities thriving in a nation who's educational system ranks at the bottom of the developed world and has mostly eliminated arts from the curriculum."

"I worry about a culture that bit-by-bit trades off the challenging pleasures of art for easy comfort of entertainment that is exactly what is happening - not just in the media, but in our schools and civic life. You now face the choice of whether or not you want your children to be passive consumers or active citizens. Do you want them to watch the world on the screen or live it so meaningfully that they change it?"

Research Study Links Music Making and Music Education
by Dr. John, SupportMusic.com

"A recent research study published in the Journal for Research in Music Education in June 2007 revealed that students in high- quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community. The research was conducted by Dr. Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy and associate dean of the School of Fine Arts, University of Kansas, with Jenny Memmot, also of the University of Kansas."

Results from the Elementary Schools: Students in top-quality music programs scored 22% better in English and 20% better in mathematics than students in deficient music programs.

Results from Middle Schools: Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 10% higher in English than students in without a music program, and 32% higher in English than students in a deficient choral program.

CA Board of Education Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards

Pre-K through Grade 12 - Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts. Includes a compelling message from the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Lean from California's top educators how arts education will affect the futures of our children and exactly how arts can be incorporated into curriculum.

The Arts Education Effect by Sandra S. Ruppert

Why schools with arts programs do better at narrowing achievement gaps.

ArtsforLA.org - Benefits of Arts Education
For Spanish version, click here. Excerpt from Current Research in Arts Education: An Arts in Education Research Compendium, published by the California Arts Council.

Why California Must Fund Education by Ted Barone
This high school principal from Albany High School, in Albany, CA brilliantly explains why we don't have a choice.

Arts Education and Graduation Rates by Rachel Lee Harris, NY Times
In a report to be released Monday, the nonprofit Center for Arts Education found that New York City high schools with the highest graduation rates also offered students the most access to arts education.

Rethinking the Essential Role of Music Education by Karen Calhoun
At Julia B. Morrison Elementary, a Title 1 school located in the Norwalk/La Mirada Unified School District in Norwalk, CA, student achievement has improved significantly at Morrison since the school began investing in music education nearly 10 years ago. The school scored 813 in the 2008 API and is now rated a High Performing Title 1 School. In addition, Morrison Elementary was honored as a 2008 California Department of Education Distinguished School.

Don't Lose the Arts in Charleston County's Public Schools by Dr. John, SupportMusic.com
Why should the schools even bother with music? According to Bruce Boston in Business Week, "In every civilization, the arts have always been inseparable from the very meaning of the term 'education,' and today no one can claim to be truly educated who lacks the basic knowledge and skills in the fourth 'r,' the arts discipline. In truth, it is the arts that provide a cultural and historical context for our lives." Fact 1: There is a direct relationship between SAT scores and the arts study. According to a 1990 study, SAT scores tend to increase with more years of arts study, and the more arts work a high school student takes, the higher scores. Fact 2: A 2007 Kansas study found that students in high quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, independent of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district. Fact 3: Students who play a musical instrument receive higher marks in school than their classmates who don't. Not only that, bur according to a study of 5,000 students in Albuquerque, NM, it was discovered that the longer the children had been in instrumental programs, the higher they scored. Fact 4: Approximately 90% of the brain's motor control capabilities are devoted to the hands, mouth and throat. According to experts, the fine dexterity involved with playing a violin can exercise the entire brain and stimulate general intelligence. Fact 5: According to research at the University of Southern California, "Arts instruction has a significant positive effect on basic language development and reading readiness. Fact 6: A study in Colorado found that "members of instrumental music performances ensembles tend to reach higher academic achievement and exhibit lower rates of absenteeism from schools than non-members.

Tucson Schools Enhance Learning with the Arts
At Corbett Elementary School, in Tucson Arizona, classical music floats through the hallways all day. First graders and fifth graders create operas. Every fourth grader learns violin. Kindergarteners meet weekly with a trio from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to explore rhythm and patterns and to establish literary connections. Corbett is part of a sweeping initiative in the Tucson Unified School District to improve student achievement through an interdisciplinary curriculum that fuses the arts and academic subjects. The project, Opening Mind Through Arts, is built on brain-based learning theories and research into children's neurological development. "OMA is different than just learning music. It uses the integration of the arts to reinforce concepts that students are learning. It gives them the experience of those concepts through music or movement art." The program's founders saw the arts as key to boosting student achievement and improving troubled schools. OMA students significantly outscored their counterparts in reading, math and writing and although the benefits held across all ethnicities, Hispanic students, in particular, made substantial gains in writing. Corbet, a Title 1 school with about 600 students, was one of the original OMA sites, and the program initially met resistance there. Teachers worried about sacrificing precious minutes in an already jammed day to music or dance, recalls Principal Joyce Dillon. "Now they say, 'it's so completely related to what we're teaching.' I never want to give it up."

CNN Video "Changing Education"
He's Oprah Winfrey's "phenomenal man." But what makes Ron Clark a phenomenal teacher? T.J. Holmes went to find out.

KTLA Video "Sierra Madre Elementary School Rated Among State's Best"

Arts Education Touted as Key to US Innovation Agenda by Andrew Trotter
A majority of U.S. voters agree that building students' imaginations to equip young people with the ability to innovate is as important as teaching them the academic basics, according to a poll commissioned by an advocacy coalition for education in the arts.

The Ties Between Failing Schools and a Failing Economy by Thomas L. Friedman, Pasadena Star News
Last summer I attended a talk by Michelle Rhee, the dynamic chancellor of public schools in Washington . Just before the session began, a man came up, introduced himself as Todd Martin and whispered to me that what Rhee was about to speak about - our struggling public schools - was actually a critical, but unspoken, reason for the Great Recession. "Our education failure is the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker's global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges" argued Martin, a former global executive with Pepsi Co. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Therefore, we not only need a higher percentage of our kids graduating from high school and college "more education," but we need more of them with the right education. So our schools have a doubly hard task now; not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic, but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.

So Far...From Being Done from WashingtonPost.com
"You can list Michelle A. Rhee's accomplishments since becoming D.C. schools chancellor two years ago today, and they run more than 10 pages: boosting math and reading test scores; putting art, music and physical education classes in every school...but also enhanced professional development for teachers, rigorous after-school and (enrichment programs)."

Workers of the Future Need More Than Calculators and Microscopes by Dr. John, SupportMusic.com
"Microsoft® has built a 'competency wheel' that defines 37 workplace skills that the corporation values. Only three of these competencies are related to technology, a dramatic illustration that math and science skills are not enough. But where and how do they acquire such important but intangible skills? Most people recognize team sports and especially participation in collaborative fine arts such as instrumental, vocal, visual arts, drama and dance.

And, a 1992 Florida Dept of Education study of at-risk students, 'The Role of the Fine and Performing Arts in High School Dropout Prevention,' found that 75% said their participation in the arts influenced their decision to graduate from high school. More and more research is showing that fine arts make good students better motivate less successful students to stay the course."

Mental benefits of music lessons echo years after practice ends by Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
"Lapsed musical instrumentalists (and their disappointed parents): Take heart! The child that gets even a few years of formal musical training before quitting those weekly lessons continues to show evidence that his or her brain has changed in ways that improve mental function, says a new study.

The latest research found that even years after they stopped practicing, young adults who had taken as little as two or three years of instrumental music training in their elementary or middle-school years showed a more robust brain response to sounds than those who had no formal music training. The study compared 30 former instrumental students to 15 young adults of similar age and intelligence who had no music training."

"At first they came for my neighbor's kid, but then they came for mine."   – John Charles Thompson, on Common Core (high-stakes) Standardized Testing, 2014 (adaptation from M. Niemöller, 1946)