Secretary of Education Duncan and NEA Chairman Landesman Confirm Role of Arts in Complete Education

Appearing together in a unique joint session at the AEP Forum last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman confirmed their support for a complete education that includes the arts. The addresses were part of the plenary session, “A Well-Rounded Education in the 21st Century,” at the Partnership’s National Forum on April 9 in Washington, DC. The meeting was the first public appearance of the two agency heads. The two leaders’ remarks, while differing in details, expressed similar ideas: Secretary Duncan cited the power of arts learning to boost student achievement and improve college graduation, and noted, “arts education is essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a global economy.” Chairman Landesman also portrayed the arts as crucial to student success: “The arts provide us with new ways of thinking, new ways to draw connections…and they help maintain our competitive edge by engendering innovation and creativity.” The texts of the two speeches are available online (Secretary Duncan; Chairman Landesman). The remarks of the two leaders were also the focus of an April 9 EdWeek blog posting found here.

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