Arts Integration Improves Student Achievement

This paper was just accepted to be presented at AERA in Chicago in April, 2015

Purpose of this Evaluation Report
The purpose of this report is to evaluate an arts integration program in Rochester, NY. The Rochester City School District (RCSD) has won two federal Arts in Education Model Demonstration and Dissemination (AEMDD) grants and this evaluation report covers the third year (2012-2013) of the second grant (2011-2014). The evaluation of the Rochester Arts Impact Study Enhancement (RAISE) is a true experimental design and involves 16,630 K-6 students over four years.

Purpose of AEMDD
The purpose of the Arts In Education Model Demonstration and Dissemination (AEMDD) federal grant is to support the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that are based on research and have demonstrated that they effectively: [1] integrate standards-based arts education into the core elementary and middle school curricula; [2] strengthen standards-based arts instruction in these grades; and [3] improve students’ academic performance in ELA and Math, social studies and science, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.

Arts Based Education Research

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This is the list posted on the ABER website, A special interest group in the American Education Research Association AERA…and it is very useful! Thank you ABER!

ABER Resources

Please contact us if you know of other resources that can be added to this working list.

WebsitesA/r/tography website: http://m1.cust.educ.ubc.ca:16080/artography
International Society for Education through Art: http://www.InSEA.org/

Centre for Arts-informed Research: http://www.utoronto.ca/CAIR/airchome3.html

Arts Based Educational Research SIG: http://www.abersig.com/

The Image and Identity Research Collective: http://iirc.mcgill.ca/

Collective Impact in Art Education

posted in: Arts, Reform, Resources | 0

On March 20, 2013, John Kania, managing director of a consulting group called “FSG,” presented his research into the uses of “collective impact” by the social sector, followed by a discussion with NEA Director of Arts Education Ayanna Hudson. Both Kania and Hudson then took questions from the public. As defined by FSG, collective impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem. The webinar examined how collective impact can help federal, state, and local leaders move forward in a common direction. – See more at: http://arts.gov/video/nea-arts-education-webinar-collective-impact-part-1#sthash.IjlKCosl.dpuf

Notes of Collective Impact Webinar

I took some notes on the outline of this talk, to get you excited about the language and the importance of these ideas. For example, John mentions five strategies in being successful at collective impact:

common agenda,
shared measurement,
mutually reinforcing activities,
continuous communication,
backbone support organization.
He came up with these by doing research across multiple sectors, not just education, not just art. These ideas are for working cross sector in the arts, education, etc. He talks about a mindset shift that is needed to be successful at large-scale change: For example, thinking that is more adaptive (answer not know, solution is complex) vs. technical problem solving (if there is a problem, there is a solution); There is no silver bullet, but silver buckshot—the outlook is further out…as in incremental success over time. Credibility vs. credit was another idea where your would demonstrate your organization is producing results but you were also sharing the spotlight.

Arts Impact in Rochester, NY (2007-2009)

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Introduction

I want to give the public access to a brief summary of our first study in Rochester, NY on the impact of the arts on student learning. The three year grant (2007-2009) was a quasi-experimental design, 10 schools in the treatment group and 10 schools in control group, to learn the impact of arts integration on student achievement. Our firm was the evaluator for this grant.

Purpose of AEMDD

The purpose of the AEMDD Federal grant is to support the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that are based on research and have demonstrated that they effectively: (1) integrate standards-based arts education into the core elementary and middle school curricula; (2) strengthen standards-based arts instruction in these grades; and (3) improve students’ academic performance in ELA and Math, social studies and science, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.

Integrating the Arts

posted in: Arts, Assessment, Reform | 0

In a recent post on the EdWeek blog, Matthew Lynch talks about the loss of the arts as subjects, and the use of the arts as integrated into other subjects. Before getting too enthusiastic about this approach, it is important to remember that integration of the arts requires common planning, implementing, and assessment. When the arts are placed in the classroom as full partners, student learning increases.

The arts have always had a secondary place in K-12 learning. If you doubt that statement, think of the first programs to go whenever budget cuts are implemented – music, fine arts and even physical fitness which includes dance. I’ve yet to hear of a school board or administrators discussing the way cutting math programs could help the school’s bottom line. There is a hierarchy of academics in America, and arts education tends to fall pretty low on the totem pole.

New Assessment System: Evidence of Teacher and Student Learning (ETSL)

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Pioneering Performance Assessments

The SchoolWorks Lab, Inc. recommends from previous evaluations (Southworth 2008) that there is a need for a performance assessment system to more accurately and equitably measure the learning outcomes described in the ETSL Templates. There is a vacuum associated with the accurate measurement of complex student performance in education. The arts have a long history of pioneering and were one of the first subject areas to adopt the pursuit of national standards (Consortium of National Arts Education Associations 1994). Researchers (Moss 1996) have argued that assessment is trapped in the psychometric side of understanding, in the standardization of the process across individuals, classrooms, districts and that the creative use of performance assessment might lead to more accurate measurement of student achievement.

NYSCA Common Ground; Transforming Your New Thinking

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For ten years, the SchoolWorks Lab worked with the New York State Council on the Arts. This state arts funding group was responsible for handing out millions of dollars and supporting arts activities around the empire state. In this Common Ground workshop outlined below, Amy Chase Gulden, Phil Alexander and I worked on translating the latest thinking of arts groups into researched stories that could be shared with others:

Transforming your New Thinking

A Common Ground Workshop

On Transforming ETSL Units

Into Public Discussions

In order to Sustain Your Partnership

March, 2010

Building a National TEAM; Theatre Education Assessment Models

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Between 2008 and 2010, I worked as a consultant for the Theatre Communications Group. Their efforts, called “Building A National TEAM: Theatre Education Assessment Models” supported new types of assessments, consolidated into four models, in order to build the assessment capacity of education departments in American theaters.