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:
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.
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).
In the spring of 2009, Quadrant Arts Education Research, on behalf of the Arizona Arts Education Research Institute, began to study the level of arts education in Arizona public schools. Arizona K-12 public school principals were invited to participate in a survey about arts education in their schools. The census results represent 22% of all enrolled students from urban, suburban, rural and charter schools.
The Arts ARE Education is a new national campaign in support of arts education for all students. As states and schools work through multiple challenges in the years ahead, arts education must remain central to a well-rounded education and fully funded to support the well-being of all students and the entire school community.
Beginning in July 2018, Arizona Citizens for the Arts (AzCA), with the support of the David and Lura Lovell Foundation and the assistance of ckSYNERGY, convened a Steering Committee comprised of leaders from across the state to build an Initiative that drives systemic change to ensure Arts Education access and equity for every student in Arizona. 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
The Arts Advisory & Action Committee or A3C is an advocacy initiative created by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). Having numerous iterations over the years, the current A3C convening is centered on gathering arts education stakeholders together in a shared space allowing ADE to better engage with the supporting of the needs and challenges of this specialized group of educators.
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.
This winter, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will present 4 webinars for BIPOC teaching artists & arts educators interested in exchanging best practices. Teaching artist Sharah Nieto will facilitate four sessions specific to different age groups and disciplines. This is a great opportunity to connect with peers in your area of expertise, ask questions, share ideas and build community. Feel free to join any session/s that best suit/s your practice!