#data


Published: Published: January 14th, 2020

New Data Sheds Light on Access to Arts Education in Arizona Schools

access to arts education increases statewide but lags in rural, tribal, and low-income communities. 

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.

Download the Full Executive Summary, One Page Highlights, or explore the Online Interactive Dashboard to learn more about who has access and who enrolls in arts education courses in Arizona Schools.


The Data

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.”


Arizonans Respond

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.


Posted in Spotlight, State of the Arts, Uncategorized, What's New In The Arts? | Tagged , , , , |
Published: Published: March 13th, 2019

Arts Education Data Makes its Debut on the AZ School Report Card

Today in honor of Youth Arts Month we are thrilled to unveil that Arts Education is one of the first subject areas outside of federally required reporting included in the new AZ School Report Card system.

Who has access to arts education in Arizona? What arts courses are offered in my child’s school? How many students are enrolled in dance courses in my county? The Arts Education Explorer can tell you that information. Now, this information makes it’s debut on the Arizona Department of Education’s School Report Card accountability system: https://azreportcards.azed.gov/state-reports. Please take some time to explore the Report Card system and the Arts Education dashboard.

The Office of Arts Education is committed to supporting the right of EVERY Arizona student to receive a quality arts education and access to arts learning opportunities. In the future we are working to integrate these two platforms to provide parents, students, and districts with improved transparency around what arts education looks like at each district and school around the state. Empowered with information, we hope you are inspired to move Arizona forward toward a future where ALL children have access to a well-rounded education that includes the arts. Happy Youth Arts Month Everyone!Have a great youth arts story to share in your school or community? Email us at [email protected] or tag us on social media with the hashtag #AZYouthArts

Posted in Arts Associations Updates, Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's New In The Arts? | Tagged , , , , , |