ALEXANDRIA, Va., (April 14, 2016)—This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. called for a renewed focus on ensuring that all students receive a well-rounded education. The call comes as states work to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In addition to reading and math, districts and schools have the opportunity under the law to provide students with strong learning experiences in the arts, science, social studies and world languages.
“As parents, we understand that opportunity starts and ends with access to a great education, which includes experiences in the arts, STEM, physical education and health, among other subjects,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA applauds Secretary King for acknowledging the importance of ensuring that all children receive a well-rounded education that enables them to reach their full potential and prepares them for long-term success.”
As Secretary King conveyed in his remarks, it is essential that meaningful changes are made to make certain that all children are provided a range of learning opportunities. Research shows that students engage more deeply in learning when they are exposed to a variety of topics. National PTA agrees with the secretary in that arts and STEM offerings, in particular, need to be expanded in schools.
National PTA has long supported arts education and advocated for the arts to remain a core academic subject, recognizing the impact it has on student success in the classroom and beyond. For nearly 50 years, the National PTA Reflections program has provided millions of students the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts. National PTA is also committed to increasing access to STEM experiences for all students and empowering families to support student success. The association has teamed up with Bayer USA Foundation to launch a national effort to deliver 100,000 STEM experiences over the next three years that engage entire families in hands-on activities—both in schools and at home.
“ESSA provides an important opportunity to enhance educational experiences for our nation’s children,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “Parents, our constituent associations and National PTA look forward to working with policymakers and education leaders at the federal, state and local levels to make the promise of a well-rounded education a reality for every child.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.