To the editor:
After reading the latest report on U.S. students trailing those in other countries in math, reading, and science achievement (Journal-World, Dec. 8), I am compelled to express my appreciation for the excellent educational programs available in this community.
I happen to believe that success in basic educational skills is highly correlated with the level of cultural opportunities and achievement in a particular population. Lawrence is home to some of the finest performing and visual arts programs found anywhere, including excellent public and private school programs, community institutions such as the Lawrence Arts Center and Theatre Lawrence, the KU music, theater, art, and museum programs, and the exceptional offerings provided by the Lied Center.
All of these venues have programs and opportunities for young students that inspire creativity and enhance cognitive development. Exposing more students to the benefits of creative cultural opportunities not only enhances overall educational achievement, but ultimately leads to scientific breakthroughs, new sociological understandings, and unique solutions to threatening environmental crises. What have we got to lose?