Encouraging results spur expansion of federal “Turnaround Arts” program

Posted on: May 21, 2014

“Delivering a forceful argument on the role of the arts in education, Michelle Obama said Tuesday that it isn’t something to be introduced after student test scores go up but is a critical element of achieving those higher test scores in the first place,” writes Darlene Superville in a Tuesday (5/20) Associated Press report. “The lawyer-turned-first lady argued her case while opening the first White House student talent show, featuring … students whose schools had performed so poorly they were chosen for … the ‘Turnaround Arts’ program … created as an experiment in 2012 by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in collaboration with the White House and the Education Department to test whether arts education can help improve student outcomes and create more positive learning environments.… Encouraged by the results so far … Mrs. Obama announced that the program is being expanded this year … to 35 schools in 10 states…. Two of the original eight schools have improved so much that they are no longer in ‘turnaround’ status, she said.… In a surprise appearance, the president made his own pitch for arts education. He said it is a necessity, not a luxury.”

Posted May 21, 2014

Pictured: First Lady Michelle Obama performs with students during the White House Talent Show on May 20, 2014 (Kris Connor/Getty Images)