We, the undersigned, are parents, care-givers, teachers, artists, taxpayers,
residents, and citizens of the District of Columbia.
We agree that all the arts—music, dance, drama, visual arts, and literature—are
vital to the proper education of our children. Arts education will enrich the
lives of all as well as provide the gateway to fulfilling careers for some. Studies
show that training in the arts has a beneficial effect on a student's entire
educational experience, including performance on the currently mandated standardized tests.
Early music instruction has been shown to have a particularly important positive influence
on intellectual, social, and character development.
We regret that in recent decades music and other arts education has been removed from
the core curriculum and treated as a “frill.” It has fallen victim to budget
cuts and a narrowing of the curriculum to focus on preparing children for
standardized tests in reading and math. Most adults find it hard to believe
that the schools no longer give the music and arts training that they had in
school, and that made our DC school bands and other ensembles such a source of
We want all public servants involved with the educational system of the District
of Columbia to work with us to provide access to arts education for all DCPS students,
based on clear curriculum guidelines and adopted standards. As a first step, we want
you NOW to endorse the resolution passed by the membership of the DC Congress of PTAs
last May calling for music education to be included in the required DCPS
elementary school curriculum, and to implement it without delay.
We pledge to support the efforts of elected and appointed officials to provide
access to arts instruction for all our children — inside and outside of school.