The Glen Echo

The arts are not essential

There+is+only+a+small+minority+of+people+who+major+in+art+in+college%2C+so+it%27s+not+reasonable+to+spend+a+lot+of+time+in+art+class+during+school.
There is only a small minority of people who major in art in college, so it's not reasonable to spend a lot of time in art class during school.

There is only a small minority of people who major in art in college, so it's not reasonable to spend a lot of time in art class during school.

There is only a small minority of people who major in art in college, so it's not reasonable to spend a lot of time in art class during school.

by Tara Lagattuta, Staff Writer

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The arts are something that are celebrated in most schools, including Glen Rock High School, but should they really be required?

In Glen Rock High School, all students must complete a total of ten credits in art classes in order to graduate. The art classes consist of sculpture and ceramics, basic art and design, photography, interior design, graphic design, concert choir, theatre, and many others. However, not all students wish to take part in ten credits of art classes.

Some students are not interested in the arts and don’t benefit from these mandatory classes. Glen Rock High School offers a multitude of other electives such as writing classes, business courses, and also AP science courses. For people disinterested in the arts, taking any of these academic electives would be more beneficial for them and their future. Not to mention, students with busy schedules would benefit more from an option period, where they would be able to work on their assignments in school.

Many think that students and young people should be exposed to different forms of art in their developing years. This is quite understandable, but by high school, students have already taken the four types of exploratory arts in middle school and art classes all throughout elementary school. Therefore, students already get enough exposure to arts, and if they decide they enjoy it, they can sign up for more classes.

The majority of high school students are not very interested in the arts, which is demonstrates in studies of how many students major in art. According to a study by the National Center of Education, only 96,000 out of 1,895,000 bachelor’s degrees in 2014-2015 were degrees in the visual and performing arts. This proves that the majority of kids aren’t serious about art classes, and these kids wouldn’t be gaining any useful skills or knowledge most of the time.

Since they are disinterested in the course, many students do not put a lot of effort into their art classes. As a result, the teacher(s) may be upset with the lack of effort. Plus, this could bring down students’ grade point average if they do not receive good grades for something they’re not motivated to learn about.

Art classes tend to get in the way of many students’ scheduling for their high school courses, including myself. Personally, I am not going to be able to complete all the courses I want to in my high school career due to the arts requirements. Since I have no interest in studying art or having an art-related career, I would rather take more writing or business courses. For example, instead of singing in a choir, I could be learning more about money management and personal finances, which would far more useful throughout life.

Art classes are also not as impressive as more academic classes on college resumes. In place of an art elective, students could even take AP electives. By taking AP classes and earning college credits in high school, students can save time and money by not taking extra classes in college. Therefore, taking AP classes proves to be a far more productive use of time.

Overall, art classes should not be mandatory for high school students to take because, not all students have an interest in the arts. Instead of spending time in class that they don’t enjoy or learn from, the students could be benefiting by learning more useful information in other electives.

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