One of our very good art teachers at Moises Molina High School, William Adkins, works with a group called Big Thoughts. Big Thoughts interviews teachers who work with the program about how arts education boosts student achievement in core areas, and how to leverage arts to improve the boost. Adkins had some thoughts about how art really is a core part of education , and on the role of administrators in helping teachers:
Adkins’ students regularly win awards, often outperforming the many more students at our district’s arts magnets. One of his students, Moses Ochieng, too the top prize at the state art meet this year for a brilliant sculpture he did. Moses was my student in U.S. history, too — a great adventure, since he emigrated from Kenya just a few years ago, and he lacks the familiarity with so many American things that we, and the textbooks, and the state tests, take for granted that students know. Ochieng’s art helped focus him on history. It supplemented his studies so that he picked up two years of history work in just one year.