2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:54G-2 - Findings, declarations relative to arts based curriculum pilot program
18A:54G-2. Findings, declarations relative to arts based curriculum pilot program
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Although there currently exists support for the arts in education within the public schools of this State, there is a vast difference in how local school districts implement arts education and a significant number of students graduate from New Jersey schools without any exposure to the arts;
b. The Literacy in the Arts Task Force, created in 1987 by the Legislature to examine the state of arts education in New Jersey, recommended that schools include both intensive arts experiences and integration of the arts across an interdisciplinary curriculum and urged districts to adopt a curriculum framework using the arts as a means of providing all students the tools for an effective and more enriched learning experience;
c. Since the Literacy in the Arts Task Force completed its work, there have been a number of other developments at the State and national level which have affirmed the value of incorporating the arts into the school curriculum as a strategy to engage and challenge students and thus advance their motivation and level of academic achievement;
d. The value of infusing the arts into the public school curricular core has been supported and advanced through the revision of New Jersey's State Goals for Education in 1992, the Department of Education's draft of Core Curriculum Standards, the Department of Education's Strategic Plan for Systemic Change, and the national education reform effort embodied in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, all of which have pointed to the arts as a mechanism to improve the ability of students to think critically and to solve problems; and
e. In an era in which states and the federal government are searching for ways in which to advance the educational achievement of at-risk students, research has indicated that an arts-based curriculum offers a powerful tool to effectuate student academic achievement by increasing the motivation of students who may be disaffected from the learning process. There is empirical evidence that academic disciplines such as reading, writing, languages, social studies, science and math are reinforced through an arts-infused curriculum.
The Legislature further finds, therefore, that a program which provides for the development of arts-infused model schools can serve an important public policy function by determining if the strategies utilized by the model schools are effective and can be successfully replicated in districts throughout the State to enhance overall student performance.