While there are some middle schools in our nation where the arts are a well-established cornerstone of curricula, there are far too many schools that provide little or no offerings. Although there are many challenges and constraints that can affect delivery of the arts in elementary schools, middle schools have more severe issues that need to be remedied before rich offerings can be provided.
As opposed to elementary schools, middle schools are organized by teacher and by subject; no longer is one teacher teaching almost every subject in a class. Therefore, staffing and facilities issues are constantly present in secondary schools, especially considering the ever-looming budget cuts that seem to occur each and every year. The organization of middle school schedules, teacher-student ratios, and class time are enough to make a school community’s head spin as well — it is a complex system, there is no doubt.
Ultimately, there are a few common threads that make arts instruction difficult to deliver in secondary schools. Although there is more to it than listed below, here are four major issues that hold middle schools back from a rich arts curriculum: