Research & Advocacy
Arts Education Research
Arizona Arts Education Data Project (2016-2017 & 2017-2018 Course Data)
According to a new report on access to arts education in Arizona public and charter schools during the 2017-2018 school year, access increased by 4% to 88% since the last published report. Over 130,000 students are estimated to remain without access to arts education.
The data reflect both access (the presence of a course of instruction in at least one arts discipline) and participation (student enrollment).
Additionally, the analysis considers such variables as
- school configuration (Elementary, Middle, or High School),
- school type (traditional public or charter),
- locale (urban, suburban, rural, etc., based on classification codes devised by National Center for Education Statistics)
- Number of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, and
- School Majority Race/Ethnicity
Key Findings: Access to Arts Instruction
Access is the lowest threshold measure for arts education. It is used to determine if a school offers at least one arts discipline with any student enrollment. This only indicates presence of program, not breadth, and is used primarily to determine where schools may be operating without arts instruction.
- While 88% of all students have access to some arts instruction, only 71% of students in grades K-8 had access to both Music and Art as requirement by state education code during the period covered by the report.
- The number of students without access to arts instruction decreased 4% between 2015 and 2018.
- The proportion of students without access to any arts courses was greatest in schools where more than 75% of students are eligible to receive Free/Reduced Price.
- Student access to the two required arts disciplines (Art and Music) for elementary and middle schools (K-8) is lowest in schools where more than 75% of students receive Free/Reduced Price Lunch (69%).
- While Public Schools represent 83% of the population they represent 60% of the “no arts” student population whereas Charter Schools represent 17% of the overall student population they hold 40% of the “no arts” students.
Key Findings: Participation in Arts Instruction
- 71% of all students participated in arts education courses.
- Music and Art are the most widely available of the arts disciplines and have the highest participation rates—45% and 52%, respectively—among the five artistic disciplines.
- Student participation varies only slightly between Traditional schools and Charter schools. In traditional schools, 73% of students are enrolled in the arts as compared to 60% for Charter schools.
The following chart highlights where participation in arts education is highest and lowest based on specific characteristics:
|Highest Arts Participation Rates||Lowest Arts Participation Rates|
|High Poverty (Free Lunch Students 76%+)||Mid-High Poverty (Free Lunch Students 51%-75%)|
|City (mid-size)||City (small)|
|Majority Race/Ethnicity is White||Majority Race/Ethnicity is American Indian|
|Traditional Public Schools||Charter Schools|
|Elementary Schools||High Schools|
The full Executive Summary Report can be found at https://azarts.gov/azartsed-explorer/.
The Data Explorer Dashboard
Beyond the Executive Summary Report, Arizonans can explore the data through an easy-to-use interactive online dashboard at https://azarts.gov/azartsed-explorer/. With intuitive controls and myriad visualization options, this powerful tool allows users to venture deep into the data, following whatever path they choose, including statewide geographic comparisons; county-, district-, and school-level reporting, and year-over changes in enrollment, to name just a few.
According to Elisa Radcliffe, the Arts Commission’s Arts Learning Manager, “This tool provides a picture of where Arizona’s schools currently stand, allowing school leaders, parents and advocates to ensure that every child in Arizona can participate in the arts.”
Among those taking a close look at the picture presented by the report is Joseph Benesh, Executive Director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, a statewide advocacy network that partnered with AZ DOE and the Arts Commission to sponsor the research with funding from Americans for the Arts.
“Every study ever done reports the same data: children do better when the arts are a robust part of their education: they develop more self-confidence; they graduate at higher rates; they perform better in school and in life,” said Benesh, referring to data such as that reported by Americans for the Arts (https://bit.ly/2sQ0YHM) showing that students who took four years of arts and music classes while in high school scored an average of 92 points higher on their SATs than students who took only one-half year or less.
“I worry about the +/- 30% of our children who are missing out on those benefits. All of our children deserve better than a C grade in access to a well-rounded education,” said Benesh.
According to a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs (https://bit.ly/34uKu4m) on behalf of Americans for the Arts in 2018, Arizonans feel very strongly about the value of arts education. 92% of Arizonans agree that the arts are part of a well-rounded education while 80% say the arts help students perform better academically.
Arizona Arts Education Data Project (2013-2014, 2014-2015 & 2015-2016 Course Data)
The Arts Education Data Project is a report by the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona Commission on the Arts which offers insights into arts instruction access and participation rates in Arizona schools. Quadrant Research prepared the report which features analysis of all available school enrollment data self-reported through the Arizona Department of Education’s SLDS system by schools across the state, both traditional public schools and charter, grades pre-K through 12 for the 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016 school years. Among the findings: as of 2016 only 65% of K-8 students had access to both music and art instruction.
Interested in the full Executive Summary, or would you rather just look at the highlights? We are very proud to share this information with you, adding to transparency and choice for you and your student(s).
Arizona Arts Education Census Reports
2010 Arizona Arts Education Census
2014 Arizona Arts Education Census Update
Arizona Arts Education Census Interactive Website
Now you can review the latest data on access to arts education in Arizona schools via an interactive website. Click here to begin exploring the data.
Americans Speak Out About The Arts in 2018 ~ Public Opinion Poll
This is What Americans Say About the Arts in 2018.
Arizonans Speak Out About The Arts in 2018: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes About the Arts PDF.
AzCA Arts Education Initiative
In order to inform the creation of this Initiative, the committee and consultants sought comprehensive input from across the state of Arizona through listening sessions and a survey; conducted interviews with similar organizations across the country; and reviewed literature and studies.
Read the Report from the initial work of this Initiative
Arts Advisory & Action Committee
■ Fall 2017 A3C Report
■ A3C FY18 Summative Report
■ A3C FY18 May Presentation – Voice-Over PPT Recording
ADE has partnered with Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA), and together, ADE and ACA will tour the state to engage stakeholders within their own communities. These meetings are free and open to the public. We encourage teachers, teaching artists, community arts organizations, administrators, parents, and policymakers to attend an event in YOUR area! Data collected through this community will be reviewed by our RTAC Leadership Team, and communicated to education and state leaders.
For more information about this advocacy group and joining A3C, contact [email protected] or call (602) 542-5179.