Artists in the Schools Are the Answer!


September 9, 2011 by WITS Editor

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities recently released a report entitled “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.”   It describes an educational system in crisis and suggests that arts-rich schools may be the answer to this country’s dire situation.

One of the most potent recommendations is to increase the number of working artists in long-term residencies in schools, especially underserved schools.  Since the 1980s, childhood arts education has declined 49 percent for African American children and 40 percent for Latino children.  The children who most need an arts education are being denied.

According to the report, the arts are absolutely crucial because they teach:

  • synthetic ability or generating new and novel ideas;
  • analytic ability or critical thinking which involves choosing which ideas to pursue; and
  • practical ability or translating ideas into action

The report states that the IBM 2010 Global CEO survey found that CEOs in 60 countries believe creativity is the most important leadership quality.  A study by the Conference board reports that employers rate creativity and innovation among the top five important skills for workers.  The same employers rank arts study as the second most important indicator of a potential creative worker.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) is at the forefront of creativity education.  We are recognized across the country for our strong programming and solid results in the classroom.  We mentor other arts organizations and provide training for artists, teachers, and administrators. The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities validates what we’ve been doing for 27 years. Let’s help spread the word about how to build creative schools that work!


One thought on “Artists in the Schools Are the Answer!

  1. Caroline Patterson says:

    I completely support this. Again and again, in underserved schools, I have seen children who have been passed over, who have not shone in math or english–suddenly come alive in stories and poems..and they discover that language enriches their lives. It is vital to re-energizing the educational system for the passion they learn to express–whether is is about bicycle jumps, tree fort, imaginary intergalactic trips–invigorates their entires passion for learning.

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Writers in the Schools (WITS)

Writers in the Schools (WITS) is the #1 arts education organization in Texas. With 80 writers and educators on staff, WITS reaches over 23,000 students a year in classrooms, community centers, museums, parks, and hospitals.

The glory of WITS is best expressed by the students--in their own words -- so this blog features essays, stories, and poems that were created by K-12 students in our program. All material (c) Writers in the Schools 2007-2013. If you wish to republish this work, please credit both the organization and the author and link back to this site. This material may not be used in commercial ventures of any kind.

Supporting WITS will help bring the pleasure and power of reading and writing to more Houston children helping to improve writing skills, build confidence, raise test scores, and enhance creativity.

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