Standardized testing of students at all grade levels is a topic of discussion these days. Do the arts, movement and creativity — which aren’t easily measured — have a place in this discussion? A recent study by a West Chester University psychology professor may shed some light. Children at an arts-oriented preschool were found to have decreased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone). Why does this matter? Cortisol is associated with stress. When stress is reduced, executive functioning (decision making) improves. So even though we aren’t doing cheek swabs on our bookmobile, we will continue to tell stories, sing, clap and dance. We know it’s the right thing to do.