There is substantial research showing the positive effects of arts education on academic achievement, in particular for students from low socio-economic backgrounds. This was shown in schools with high arts participation and what they call arts rich schools: schools with a complete arts curriculum.
Some research discussed arts integration. This is where arts in infused across the curriculum. In schools that had both an arts class and arts integrated across the curriculum, the students outperformed others in schools focused primarily on one or the other. Teachers in these settings were also given more professional development which contributed to the positive effects on student achievement.
It was also suggested that extensive and deep involvement in arts activities showed a significant predictor of students’ later achievement and community involvement. Arts education had prosocial outcomes notwithstanding the positive effects on student achievement.
Overall, there is research that shows that arts education is in-line with 21st Century Learning Outcomes. These outcomes include: an integrated approach to learning/teaching; innovative skills building; creativity and critical thinking skills and collaboration. It is important to note that the research only shows correlations between arts education and academic achievement. It does not show causation.
Arts Education Vs. Arts Exposure
The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education
Quality arts education can best be understood by dissecting the experience into four components, each of which has key indicators for quality:
SCUSD Needs Assessment (Oct 2015): Art not directly within needs identified
Stats for Sacramento:
|School District||K-8 Students||K-8 Teachers||K-8 Schools||Total Budget (millions)|
A.M. Winn – No arts mentioned on website http://www.scusd.edu/k-12-school-directory
Abraham Lincoln – Arts in mission statement; no specific reference in school reports
Comprehensive arts programs according to California VAPA framework
Ultimately, one is a by-product of the other. Countless research studies and documentation not only suggest but prove that learning outcomes dramatically increase with exposure to the arts. The phenomenon should be viewed holistically rather dissected. It’s not either or: arts education or arts exposure. For maximum impact, they walk in hand in hand.
However, for the purposes of our project, we must acknowledge the difference between the two so that we may focus on the core purpose, benefits, value, and importance of consistent arts education programs for K-8 grade students.
Arts education solves problems. Years of research show that it’s closely linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.
Americans for the Arts
Research shows impressive benefits of arts education on entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, and attendance. Numerous reports discuss the ways that increased access and involvement in arts education encourage students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life, and succeed in work.
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill.
In response to Obama’s “Educate to Innovate campaign, which included funding for more than 100k STEM teachers over the next decade, academic leaders agreed that “A” for “arts and humanities” should be added to create STEAM education.
Arts and humanities are just as an important dimension of educating students as are science, technology, engineering, and math.
Exposure equals Access. Culturally enriching experiences like the arts, not only produce educational benefits, but promote major gains in children’s confidence, persistence, collaboration, motivation, tolerance, empathy, and a greater sense of community.
The Daily Signal
Once the great equalizer in terms of access to arts and culture in public schools, cultural field trips were viewed as central to a school’s educational mission. With continued budget cuts and lack of funding, less-advantaged students are less likely to have these experiences, while more advantaged families expose their children to cultural institutions and experiences outside of school hours.
When give access to art exposure, students from rural or high-poverty areas often have reported higher levels of historical recall, desire, and interest.
From Mozart for babies, to tutus for toddlers, to family trips to the museum, children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them.
Low-income children, often, do not. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind.
Access equals a more level playing field with children who have enrichment experiences and opportunities.
Arts exposure or access at a very young age fosters creativity, encourages tolerance of diverse populations, and promotes use of creative outlets for expressing emotions.
Status of Arts Education in California Public Schools: (Dated, 2011)
Harmony Project (LA area)
Create CA Roadmap for schools
Create CA Interactive Dashboard
Any Given Child – Sacramento
Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy
2009 Washington State and Washington State Arts Commission Study
All Washington K–12 principals were invited to participate in an online survey about arts education in their schools. A total of 478 principals participated, providing information about curriculum, funding, and other factors that impact teaching and learning in the arts. Here is a manifesto that they created that tells a story and presents an action plan.
Kennedy Center Information
The pdf report summarizes their design and methodology. This is where they felt there were gaps. Most likely since it was all quantitative research (surveys). Supplementing with qualitative research is where they feel we will gain the missing information (the principal interviews) and be able to tell the whole story.
All surveys/tools they used: http://education.kennedy-center.org/education/anygivenchild/resource.cfm
City of Portland art tax
Twin River Arts Education:
Reports for Two Federal Grants
Teacher Practice and Curriculum:
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - Signed in December 2015
School districts around the country are shifting their focus from teaching only core academic subjects to providing all students with a well-rounded education that includes instruction in arts and music.
Los Angeles USD Arts Education Branch
San Francisco USD Arts Education Master Plan (AEMP)
The blueprint for integrating the arts into each student’s daily curriculum. It details why and how students’ education will include arts from day one of pre-school to through senior year of high school.
The goal was to identify two cities that implemented arts in education programs as case studies to prove or negate effectiveness or challenges.
The guiding principle for major school districts like Los Angeles and San Francisco is that all students deserve both access to and equity in arts education.
Los Angeles USD
The nation’s largest school district, all LAUSD students are exposed to the arts—during the school day. The district even has a dedicated Arts Education Branch. In addition to funding, resources are supplemented by partnerships, fundraising, and local volunteer artists.
Arts Equity Index
An Arts Equity Index (AEI) is used to ensure that under-served students and schools receive an increased level of arts support and services.
The Arts Equity Index assigns levels for all LAUSD schools K-12 based on the scope of their provided arts instruction, resources, and Student Equity Index. The AEI index levels are:
A school’s Arts Equity Index level is determined through a short electronic survey completed by a principal (or designee) that assesses where and how arts resources and supplies are being used in a school.
HOW DOES THE ARTS EQUITY INDEX (AEI) BENEFIT SCHOOLS?
The goal is for all LAUSD schools to be at a Level 4 (Developing) or higher within three years. Each school year, steps are taken to provide more equity of arts resource allocation based on the assigned level, and to ensure that all students have appropriate arts access and instruction.
WHAT RESOURCES WILL BE PROVIDED TO UNDER-RESOURCED SCHOOLS?
Additional Arts Teachers
Additional supplies, materials, and equipment
Externally secured funding and in-kind support
Strategic Community Arts Partner usage
Expanded Instructional Time Options (0 & 7 period classes)
In 2012, Los Angeles Unified school board members made arts instruction a core subject, designating it as important as subjects like math and English. The move was aimed at getting the arts to every student in the district, and it won applause from arts supporters around the country.
But in 2015, the goal of universal arts instruction remains elusive. A KPCC analysis of the most recent district data found that at about 100 elementary schools, the vast majority of students get no arts instruction.
Still, across the district, there are signs of improvement. Forty-five new art teachers were hired for the new school year, according to district numbers, and resources like professional development for teachers have been increased. Plus, the district’s arts branch launched a series of arts festivals that showcase student work.