One of the ways that local school districts have dealt with budget shortfalls is to cut arts programs in schools, but they may want to reconsider.  A recent article “School Arts = Higher Scores” on The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that “third graders who had the arts integrated into their regular curriculum showed remarkable improvement on standardized test scores.”  The results were announced recently, and they were compelling:  There was a 87-point average gain on the state standardized reading test for third-graders in 2010 – 2011 school year.

The Developing Reading Education with Arts Methods, or DREAM program, “trains third- and fourth-grade teachers to integrate the arts into their lessons and sends artists into the classroom to provide weekly coaching.”  The infusion of the arts includes everything from singing to puppetry.