Release Event of The Nation’s Report Card: 2016 Arts


Good morning, everybody. Good
morning. (Audience response) Thank you for joining us today.
As we get started with our program, I want to begin with a
brief video to set the stage for the rest of our morning. [Video
begins] [Opening music] Most people who receive an education
can agree with me that arts is a critical pillar of education.
For me, as a dance choreographer, the skills of
mathematics and geometry go hand in hand with my daily work. As
an entrepreneur, the skills of business and economics create
actual success in my business. For other subjects and other
people, I can assure you that mathematicians are also
composers of music; and English majors also create lyrics for
songs. So it is without a doubt that the arts enrich all walks
of life. [Closing music] Good morning and welcome to the
release of the Nation’s Report Card 2016 Arts. We’re grateful
to be here at the John F. Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts, which has shown a long-standing and exemplary
commitment to the arts and arts education. I want to thank them
for hosting us today, and many thanks to everyone here in
attendance at the Kennedy Center and everyone who is joining via
our webcast. I’m Terry Mazany, President and CEO of the Chicago
Community Trust, one of the nation’s largest community
foundations and steadfast committed to arts education in
the Chicago Public Schools. We have played an important role
from an initial survey 15 years ago looking at disparities and
access to now creating opportunities for every student
in Chicago to enjoy all of the disciplines of arts education.
In addition, I’m one of the founding Board members of
ChiArts, the Chicago High School for the Performing Arts, that
provides a highest level of arts education for young people to be
able to excel in their career and pursuits of the arts. It’s
very important that we have this vital role of creativity,
innovation and imagination in our communities. Today I wear
the hat of Chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, an
independent non-partisan Board whose members include governors,
state legislators, local and state school officials,
educators, business representatives and members of
the general public. Congress created the 26-member Board in
1988 to oversee and set policy for the National Assessment of
Educational Progress, or NAEP, also known as The Nation’s
Report Card. NAEP shows us that arts can indeed be assessed, and
it provides us with valuable objective data on eighth
graders’ knowledge of music and visual arts. In fact, The
Nation’s Report Card 2016 Arts is the only source of
nationally-represented data that measures these skills. Before we
begin, let me review the schedule of our program. First,
we will present results from the 2016 NAEP arts assessment with a
brief question and answer session; then we will see a
video highlighting the contextual data from the arts
reports; and finally, we will see four videos of arts programs
across the country that are blending arts with academics to
enrich their students’ educational experiences, and
we’ll have a moderated question and answer session with
representatives from those schools. During the event today,
we encourage you to join our ongoing conversation on Twitter
using the hashtag NAEP, N-A-E-P. Now it is my pleasure to
introduce Dr. Peggy Carr to present the results of the 2016
NAEP arts assessment. Dr. Carr is the Acting Commissioner of
the National Center for Education Statistics or NCES.
She is one of the nation’s foremost experts on student
assessment, having guided NAEP assessment for many years, and
is a wonderful colleague that we work with at the National
Governing Board. Also on stage is our event moderator, Dr.
Jonathan Katz, who will moderate the question and answer session
on the arts data, as well as the second half of the program. Dr.
Katz is the Strategic Advisor for the Innovation Collaborative
and will lead us through the rest of the event, lending his
perspective to the discussion that will occur in the second
half of our event today. Before Dr. Carr presents the data, she
has a brief special multimedia carousel to share with you. [Art
and Music Video] I’m pleased to be here today to release the
Grade 8 results from the National Assessment of
Educational Progress arts assessment here at the John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Before I go
into my presentation, I want to recognize this beautiful art
that you just saw, both on the screen and outside before you
entered the room. These works of art were created by eighth grade
students as part of our arts assessment. Let’s see, you saw
self-portraits; you saw collages; and, yes, those
whisper boxes that were designed to hold voices. If you didn’t
see them, I ask you to go back as you leave and appreciate the
time and effort that students put into creating these
wonderful, beautiful pieces of art. You also heard music just
now, performances we recorded from the past in our 1997 arts
assessment, our first music arts assessment. I wanted you to hear
and share the sort of rich history of this assessment. And,
yes, it is unique; it’s the first and only NAEP assessment
of what students know and can do in the visual arts and music.
The design and the content of the arts assessment was
developed by a committee of practicing artists, art
educators, and members of the artistic organizations who
understand that throughout students’ lives they will draw
from artistic experience and knowledge as a means of
understanding what happens inside and outside their own
skin just similarly as they use mathematical, scientific,
historic and other frameworks to understand that world. So let’s
begin with a brief review of the methodology used in this
assessment and better understand the students’ experience and,
yes, how we evaluated performance in this assessment.
In 2016, the NAEP arts assessment included a nationally
representative sample of 8,800 eighth grade students who were
assessed in either music or visual arts. The arts assessment
asked students to observe, describe, analyze and evaluate
works of art and music and the visual arts. Additionally,
students were asked to create their own original pieces in
visual arts; that was a component of this assessment. In
music, we report students’ performance on responding
questions; specifically, students were asked to analyze
the element and structure of music, compare and contrast
various musical styles, and make critical judgments about
technical and expressive qualities of musical
performances and compositions. Their performance was then
placed on a 300-point scale. In visual arts, students were asked
to complete both responding and creating questions. Responding
questions asked students to respond to content, form,
context and aesthetics; and they were asked to describe
relationships between form and context, form and the meaning or
function in critical/analytical models. Visual arts creating
questions asked students to create subjects, themes and
ideas that reflect knowledge and understanding of context, values
and aesthetics. They were asked to create preliminary or
formative ideas, such as sketches, before final execution
and to create a product that reflects ongoing thoughts,
actions and new directions. Creating questions and visual
arts – well, that is a unique part of our arts assessment; and
they are reported on an average creating task scale, one that
goes from 0 to 100%. Next I will take you through specific
examples from both the music and visual arts, a part of our
assessment I think is necessary for you to understand how the
arts was conceptualized and operationalized in our program.
Let’s begin with a responding music question. For this
question, students were played a simple piece of music and asked
to identify the instrument played in the piece. Let’s play
a snippet of this piece, Rhapsody in Blue, and see if you
can choose the correct answer. [Music] 51% of eighth grade
students selected the correct answer, “D”, clarinet. Here’s
another example of a responding question, but in the visual arts
discipline. In this responding visual arts question, students
were shown two self-portraits and asked to identify technical
similarities between the two. Here’s the first portrait, drawn
by Katie [Cowitz]. Here’s the second, drawn by [Egon Schula].
Again, students were asked to describe a technical similarity
between the two self-portraits. The correct answer is choice
“B,” both works combine loose gestural lines and careful
drawing. About 41% of the eighth grade students got this question
right. Finally, let’s discuss a creating question in visual
arts. There are four levels of scoring for a “create a
self-portrait” task: sufficient, uneven, minimal and
insufficient. For the first task that I will show you in just a
moment, “sufficient” is defined as having clear and specific
observations and compositional elements that are skillfully and
purposefully incorporated. We’re going to look now at some
examples of the four rating levels that I just described.
Here’s an example of sufficient, where 3% of students scored. You
can think of sufficient as some full credit. This student’s
response scores sufficient because it shows purposeful use
of compositional elements and sensitive use of materials. The
work also shows both skillful use of proportion, color and
lines and is fully developed and individualized. For example, the
student has used color very selectively so that it
emphasizes and creates contrasts between specific parts of her
portrait. The student commented in her self-evaluation that she
sought to show both sorrow and faith in her self-portrait.
Twenty-six percent of students who scored “uneven” had
responses that made some specific [consternations]. They
sometimes employed pertinent compositional elements; gave
attention to detail, such as the facial features, to convey
expression; and they sometimes effectively used materials to
communicate. However, uneven works are typically somewhat
inconsistent and incomplete in parts. This artist gives her
work some individuality by her vivid use of color, facial
expressions, and the symbol she has incorporated in her jury.
Behind the works of art, you’ll see some indications there.
However, these elements seem inconsistent and they’re lacking
in deliberation; and they distract, quite honestly, from
the overall effect. For example, somewhat careless placement of
background elements you’ll see here and the lack of clarity of
some of the other elements. As with 59% of the students who
scored at the minimal level, in this self-portrait efforts at
specific observations are apparent and relatively minimal.
Compositional successes may seem more accidental than deliberate,
and use of materials is unskilled. For example, this
student has chosen to emphasize only the eyes and the mouth with
color. However, the student lacks the skill to make the
choice distinctive enough to convey this message. Most
self-portraits at the “insufficient” level, accounting
for 11% of eighth graders, were so schematic as to convey very
little or nothing about the artist – like this one. They
showed unspecific observations, little awareness of composition,
and highly unskilled use of materials. So now I’ve given you
a taste of what the actual assessment looks like and what
the students experience. I want to now turn to the findings from
this 2016 unique art assessment. Remember that music and visual
arts are two distinct disciplines, and they’re not
combined into a single score. So I’m going to share with you
results that are separate for each area, and they cannot
technically be compared. Student performance on the NAEP arts
assessment is reported on an average scale of 0 to 300 for
each discipline. That, of course, is music and visual
arts. When discussing performance, I will only discuss
changes that are statistically significant. Those changes will
be indicated by an asterisk. As you can see here, the average
(inaudible) score in music in 2016 is 147. While that score is
numerically smaller than the 150 in 2008, that change is not
statistically different. Scores are also reported using
percentiles to show results for students performing at lower
10th and 25th percentiles; middle, the 50th percentile; and
higher levels, the 75th and the 90th percentiles. Again, you see
that scores are numerically down across these percentiles; but
none of these changes are statistically different. Now
let’s look at performance for the visual arts. What you’ll see
here is that the average score for the visual arts was 149.
This is not different from the 150 that we reported in 2008.
When you look at the performance distribution, you see our first
asterisk; and that is on the 90th percentile indicated at the
top. This indicates that our highest performing students, on
average, scored lower in 2016 than was the case in 2008.
Something else that we examined in NAEP are achievement gaps
between groups of students. I’m going to show you those results
next. Here we’re looking at the White/Hispanic achievement gap
in music. The two dark blue circles at the bottom of the
figure indicate the gap in student performance. The
asterisk on the number in the circle indicates a statistically
significant difference from 2016. In 2016, White students
performed 23 points higher than Hispanic students. This 23-point
gap is narrower than the 32-point gap in 2008, again as
indicated by the asterisk. You’ll also notice that the
narrowing of the gap is driven by the improved performance of
Hispanic students, with an average score of 135 in 2016,
higher than the 129 in 2008. It is a very similar story in the
visual arts. The 19-point gap in 2016 is narrower than the
26-point gap reported in 2008. While not shown here, the
Black/White achievement gap did not change in 2016 in either
music or visual arts as compared to 2008. This slide shows the
gap between Asian-Pacific Islanders and White students. In
2016, there was no achievement gap between White and
Asian-Pacific Islander students in music – no change in the size
of the gap in comparison to 2008. While there was no
achievement gap between White and Asian-Pacific Islanders in
music in 2016, as was the case in 2008, in the visual arts an
8-point achievement gap appeared between the two groups of
students in 2016. What about gender gaps? Girls had higher
average scores than boys in both music and the visual arts in
2016, as was the case in 2008. Boys’ music responding average
score decreased in 2016 in comparison to the previous
assessment year. This figure shows the 2016 music responding
score by students’ race, ethnicity and eligibility for
the National School Lunch Program. For example, White
students had an average score of 158 in 2016; note that the
average score for White students was higher than the average
score for Black, Hispanic, and students of two or more races,
but not different than the average score for Asian-Pacific
Islander students. Continuing our look at student groups,
students who were not eligible for the National School Lunch
Program had higher average scores than students who were
eligible. In the visual arts, the 2016 responding scores by
students’ race, ethnicity and eligibility for the National
School Lunch Program are shown here. White students had an
average score of 158 in 2016. Note that the average score for
White students was higher than the average score, again, for
Black students, Hispanic students, and Asian-Pacific
Islanders but not different from the average score for students
who were from two or more races. Students who were not eligible
for the National School Lunch Program had higher average
scores than students who were eligible for the program. As
with every assessment NAEP administers, contextual
questions were asked of all students who participated in the
arts assessment. We also asked school personnel to complete a
survey questionnaire. They were included in the sample. These
questions will help create a more complete picture for you of
the educational environment and the culture. This question asked
students about course taking in music and visual arts. As we see
here, the percentage of students taking music or arts courses in
school did not change in 2016 compared to the previous
assessment year. Sixty-three percent of students were taking
a music course in 2016 compared to 64% in 2008. Forty-two
percent of students answered that they had taken, or were
taking, an art course in 2016 compared to just 45% in 2008.
This next question looks at the participation of students in
arts activities in school. On the left, you see the percentage
of students who said they play in the school band in 2016; that
was 17%. This was not different in comparison to 2008 when we
asked this question. On the right, in visual arts, the
percentage of students answering “Yes” to the question, “Do you
or your teacher save your artwork in a portfolio,”
declined by five points in 2016 to 49% in comparison to 54% in
2008. The percentages of students engaging in some arts
activities outside of school have declined in 2016 in
comparison to the previous assessment year. Sixty-seven
percent of students listened to a musical performance in a
theater in 2016 compared to 72% in 2008, a five-point decline.
In the visual arts, 13% of the students took an art class not
for schoolwork in 2016 compared to 16% in 2008. If you recall in
a slide that I showed you earlier, there are gender gaps.
There is a gender gap in music, and girls outperform boys by 15
points. In this slide what you’ll see is that finding at
the top in the blue bar across the slide. Then we have
questions that will help you understand and contextualize
that performance gap. These particular items look at
behaviors and attitudes towards music. What you see in most
cases is that females identify with these activities at a
higher rate than males. More girls than boys agree that they
have musical talent, talk with family members and friends about
music, and played an instrument not for schoolwork. In NAEP, we
also report data by region of the country, as defined by the
census. In the visual arts, students in the Northeast had an
average score of 160, outperforming their peers in the
South, the Midwest and the West. This slide shows the percentage
of student engagement in the visual arts by the regions. More
students in the Northeast took an art course, save artwork in a
portfolio, compared to students in the Midwest, in the South and
the West. In addition, students in the Northeast were more
likely to have access to a full-time visual arts teacher;
and they lived in a state or district with a visual arts
curriculum. This is in comparison to their Midwest and
West counterparts. The results of this assessment can be found
online at the NationsReportCard.gov. Also, you
can follow NAEP on Facebook at the National Assessment of
Educational Progress, and on Twitter at NAEP_NCES. In
closing, I would like to thank all of the students and the
teachers and the schools that volunteered their time to
participate in this arts assessment. Their efforts allows
us to better understand the special benefits of learning
that only the arts can provide: how to use different senses,
make decisions, learn from mistakes, and work well with
others. I want to thank you. Here’s my favorite piece.
[Applause] We’ll now open the floor for questions for Dr. Carr
on the results. If you have a question, please approach the
microphone; provide your name, organization and your question.
Hi, Dr. Carr, thank you very much. I’m Mike Blakeslee from
the National Association for Music Education. As I recall in
the last couple of NAEPs, there was data not only that you
shared with us that course taking in music was unchanged,
but the data drilled down to the frequency of instruction that
those children had. Can you speak to has that changed at
all? Because in the past, it was quite evident that sometimes the
fact that a child took a course meant one time and week; and
sometimes it meant far more frequently. Well, it’s a good
question; and I’m happy to say that we do have those data,
although I don’t have them here with me. Our NAEP Data Explorer,
which this gives me an opportunity to put a plug for
that, will allow you to drill down at the level that you are
inquiring. Great, thank you very much. More questions? How were
the schools selected for these samplings? Schools were randomly
selected from their proportional representation across the
nation. Once we identified those schools, we drilled down and got
representative samples within the schools. No one knew who was
going to take visual arts or the music assessment, so it was all
random; and students volunteered to participate, and the schools
volunteered as well. Unlike the reading and math assessments
that are mandated, these assessments – this one and
several others – are not; and so we are really appreciative of
those who volunteered to participate in the assessment.
Questions from the audience? Have there been dance and
theater assessments? Oh, yes – well, you know, this assessment
has a rich history dating back to 1997; and then we
administered it again in 2008 and of course 2016, today. When
we started back in 1997 — I have to say I was around at that
time – the dance was difficult to administer because of the
lack of prevalence in the schools around the country at
the time. So if you get a chance to go back to the 1997 report,
you’ll see that we had the items and the tasks there but no data.
We did do theater in 2008, but we weren’t able to replicate
that again. But we’re looking forward to 2024, when we might
be able to take advantage of our digitally-based assessment
techniques. So we can bring these components of the
assessment back. Does anything that we learned from the
assessment tell us what narrows achievement gaps? We see that
some of them are narrowing, and some of them aren’t. John,
that’s a really good question. We did do a little digging, and
what we found is that taking a course inside school or outside
activities represents somewhere between a 10- and a 12-point
difference in performance. So we know that when students are
exposed to the arts in an academic way or from their own
engagement and motivation, they can do better; and that is what
happened with the Hispanic students. I was glad to see that
the gap was narrowing because the Hispanic students made such
improvement. We did a little digging into the Hispanic data.
We realized that that’s exactly what they were doing – taking
more courses and having more interests outside of school. So
that makes a difference. That’s the time we have today for
questions. Thanks, Petty, and thanks to NCES. Thank you.
[Applause] I’m pleased to be here today. We’ve just heard the
results of the first assessment since 2008. Now in the second
half of this program, we’re going to switch gears and see
some inspiring videos that show how arts education helps to
shape our nation’s students. The first video highlights
contextual data from the art’s report card that explore the
factors in our classrooms and out in the world that impact
arts education. Next, the Governing Board will debut a
series of four videos spotlighting arts programs at
Hilltop Arts in Tacoma, Washington; Orchard Gardens K-8
Pilot School in Boston, Massachusetts; the Arts Based
School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Red Lake Middle
School in Red Lake, Minnesota. So let’s sit back and watch a
new video produced by the Governing Board that shows that
art is everywhere in education, if you just know where to look.
[Video begins] [Opening Music] “Art is everywhere in school if
you look closely.” “We learn to play instruments in class.”
“Rehearse for the school play.” “And create our own
masterpieces.” [Music] “While art goes beyond the studio, the
skills we learn from art can help in other places too.”
“Studying music can help us understand math.” “Theater and
dance make the books we read in English class come to life.”
“And the visual arts paint a picture of what we learn in
history class.” “Art really is everywhere.” [Ending Music] What
a great video. It underlines the importance of exploring what
factors may enhance student performance. In this case, we’re
looking at the arts. Now, with help from a number of arts
education stakeholders, the Governing Board identified and
profiled fours schools across the country to learn what their
unique arts programs and the impact of arts education on
their students are. The first stop on our cross-country tour
is Tacoma, Washington, where we visit Hilltop artists to learn
about how glass blowing is helping to shape students’
appreciation of the arts and to make a difference in their
lives. [Video begins] [Opening Music] Oftentimes, people come
into the program; they look at 12 year olds blowing glass, and
they’re like, “Who thought this was a good idea?” But if you set
the expectation high for these kids, so many of them will reach
that expectation and go beyond. “The Hilltop artists, like the
program for glass blowing, gives you something to look forward to
at the end of the day.” “Being involved in arts has really
helped me, like, stay focused because I’m really like
connected with it, and I like it.” “We’ve learned a lot of
stuff – like most of the stuff we’re making here, like cups and
bowls, I can use at home. I’ve never been able to do that
before.” “What we do in working with the glass world is a very
small community of people. But I think one of the things that
this place does is it shows you that there’s a larger role that
you can play in the community.” “Before I took this glass
blowing course, I did not consider myself an artist. I
didn’t think I was an artist. I didn’t like the arts; I thought
it was kind of phony. But coming into this class, I really
learned how to express myself; and I was able to create things
that I truly thought were beautiful. Just from my first
gather, I knew it was something that I, like, wanted to identify
with and do whatever it takes to continue doing that for the rest
of my life.” “The program just goes kind of a step beyond what
most programs do. Yes, we’re an art program teaching 21st
Century skills in a school environment; but then we’re also
connecting these kids to all the social programs that they need.”
“Last year, I was going through some stuff; and I came here, and
I felt secure. Art has always been kind of my way of coping
through everything, and glass blowing is like everything to me
now.” “You know, a lot of the students that I work with,
population that I work with, it’s a big deal for them to even
come to school, to show up to school.” “As much as we use
glass to hook the kids and to get the kids to come in here
every day, that’s not really why we’re here. Our goal isn’t to
turn all of these students into glass artists and populate the
world with more glass art; but it’s to make them better
citizens and hopefully find something in themselves that
they didn’t see before.” “So I started the program when I was
12. Growing up was really hard; I went through a lot, and glass
was always my go-to. This is my home, my family. Being that
struggling kid and then now being on the other side and
being able to be there for the kids is a really cool feeling.”
“We’ve become sort of a family in here, and we help them
through that tough time of being 12 up to 19 years old.” “It’s a
really friendly place. All the teachers are really nice. It’s
like another family that you can have.” “I think it’s made me a
better person because I’m excited to go to school.”
“Feeling like they’re creative is an important skill, I think,
these days with the changing world and the economy and
everything the way it is. To be able to constantly create a
problem solver, reinvent yourself, I think that’s what
art does; and I think it’s one of the wonderful skills that it
provides these kids.” “Within a couple weeks, they’re making
these beautiful objects that they take home. And their family
and their friends see them and are oohing and ahhing and
wondering, like, ‘You made that? How did you even do that? That’s
amazing!’ So suddenly, there’s this pride in what they’re
doing; and they’ve overcome this year of the heat and the kind of
the intimidation factor of the glass blowing. And now they’re
actually creating things. And as they stay involved with the
program, they get to pass those skills on to their friends, show
their friends what they know, mentor, and all those things. So
you can turn kids on to going to college. You can turn kids on to
education in a way that they never thought was possible, and
I think that’s the future that these kids have.” [Closing
music] That program in Tacoma, Washington, reminds us how
physical and how technical arts learning can be and how broadly
that can affect a student. Joining us on the phone to
answer your questions from Hilltop Artists is Deputy
Director Kate Ward. Kate, talk to us about the powerful
influence the arts have on your students. What are you seeing
firsthand? Hi, thank you so much for having me today. What I have
seen firsthand with our students is that art meets them where
they’re at. Middle school is a challenging time as you are —
as Dr. Peggy Carr pointed out — learning how to understand your
world and how to understand yourself. Art gives students an
opportunity to explore that, to be creative. We see with glass
arts that things break; things don’t always go as planned. And
students have a real opportunity to learn creativity, problem
solving, teamwork and resilience. These are life
skills that students take with them wherever they go. Thanks,
Kate; we’ll talk with you again in a moment. Next we visit
Boston, Massachusetts, and head to Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot
School, where they’re developing the artistic abilities of
students through a top-notch dance program. [Video begins}
[Opening Music] “Before I came here, I went to two schools that
didn’t have any arts programs; and it was the most boring
experience of my life. But then I came here, and then Mr. Jordan
was this awesome, cool dance teacher. And then I was like,
oh, my god, this is really fun; and then I just developed a love
for dance.” “Dance has changed the culture of this school. If
you look at the top dancers in this school, I guarantee you
their grades are really high. The younger kids, they look up
to that.” “My family always said that I had to do dance classes
because every time I listen to music, I just want to dance. And
it is equal opportunity because I thought I wouldn’t be able to
do it here in the United States.” “Our school is
founded on a deeply-held belief that the arts are an essential
part of every child’s education because we’ve seen it in our
turnaround story. We were one of the lowest performing schools in
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2010. We now
have some of the highest growth rates in the state.” “Dance is
always what makes me want to come here, especially when I
have it first period. I’m so excited because I know I just
get to go and dance and get all my energy out before I have to
go to class.” “I go, like, and make my brain work in the
morning; and it really helps me out with the classes the rest of
the day because I feel that I’m more active.” “Being able to
influence young minds through dance, especially teaching K-8
where you can have a kid in kindergarten and then see them
rise and learn – I don’t know, I live for it. I mean, I would
basically tell the parents, ‘This is something that will
change your child’s life for the better.'” [Music] “We definitely
have students who are emerging in our classrooms as leaders in
making the art their own. So it’s pretty exciting to see
those leaders emerge and then see other students follow.” “I
tell them all the time, why do we have to critique art? Why do
we have to talk about somebody’s artwork? Because it’s going to
help them with their presentation; it’s going to help
them be able to engage in some kind of debate or any other
conversation.” “And those skills definitely are the same skills
that the science teacher wants in their room, when you’re
inventing something and collaborating on a team for an
experiment.” “So we credit our art programming with our
excellent attendance rate and with our ever-growing academic
achievement rates. And because we’re able to see outcomes year
after year, it’s not something that’s hard to keep people
engaged in because it’s visible; and our kids can clearly
articulate what the arts mean to them.” “Well, one, it gives me
motivation; and, two, I feel like if dance can be this fun,
then so can everything else.” “A lot of educators – a lot of
people in general – they think that the arts are just enjoying
yourself; but it incorporates everything. It teaches you about
life.” “What we’re doing like partner dancing, the most
important thing is to communicate with each other but
without talking.” “You have to learn how to rely on each other
because we’re always running on stage, and you have to trust the
other that you’re not going to run into them.” “I think that’s
huge for students to be working on right now because so many of
the jobs out there are about collaboration and creation. And
when you are in middle school, your communication skills are
not necessarily fully developed; and instead of quitting or
giving up and having tears, they learn how to persevere through
those challenges that they face.” “Before I started
dancing, if I tried to dance or do anything like that, I would
be really shy. So that’s what it’s basically taught me — to
not be shy anymore when I dance or anything else.” “I think
that’s what art does; it breaks down all of the other stuff that
people put on humanity. It just breaks it down, and then you’re
just who you are.” [Closing music] We talk about how low
self-efficacy results in kids dropping out and how they don’t
believe that they can succeed in school. And the confidence that
was radiating from those dancers was really impressive. Joining
us on phone to answer your questions from Orchard Gardens
is Principal Megan Webb. Megan, how has this dance program
enriched students’ lives and improved performance in other
subjects? Good morning, thank you so much for including us in
this program. I think the video in a lot of ways speaks volumes
and speaks for itself about how this program has impacted our
students. I think of it in terms of broad skills and motivation,
perseverance and persistence that you really saw shining
through in those students and in their teachers as well. I think
our students are motivated to come to school first of all; but
with the incredible dance and arts programming that we offer,
we’ve risen from 89% attendance before arts implementation to
96% and higher school wide. So getting kids here is a huge
piece of the puzzle. Then also you saw in Wilmer’s statement at
the end – our seventh grade student who said he was shy; he
was reserved. And then dance showed him how to come out of
his shell; how to be successful; how to take on a risk and
succeed, which is a skill that translates into every single
class and creates leaders out of students who might otherwise
kind of shy away from new opportunities and new
challenges. Thanks, Megan; we’ll talk again in a moment. Now we
head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to the Arts Based
School, where students are given the chance to flex their
creative muscles through multiple arts programs,
including music and theater. [Video begins] [Opening Music]
“When children come to kindergarten, they’re all
acting, singing, dancing. Every parent says, ‘Oh, my child just
loves art.’ When you start that from a very, very young age,
then it becomes the natural mode and the natural way of learning.
So why would you sit them down when they get into seventh grade
and say, ‘Stop using those languages you’ve developed and
be quiet and sit still and listen and we’ll teach you
something?'” “Arts here did help me with the other side, not this
shy person but the outspoken person; and it helps with speech
in a lot of different shows too.” “We see many kids blossom
when they get into this environment.” “I’ve just
excelled in my learning since Day 1.” “It gives them a sense
of pride and a sense of place and a sense of value.” “It’s
really helped me a lot, like, become more bold as a person, I
guess.” “We don’t integrate everything; where it doesn’t
make sense, we don’t do it. But there’s enough of it that
there’s change, and it’s an opportunity for problem solving
and creativity that keeps them stimulated. They’re not just
taking in an adult point of view. They get to solve the
problems themselves and then express them using something
other than just a pencil or a computer.” “Having an art class
kind of lets you develop a little bit more. It seems
intimidating at first; but if it’s something that you do,
like, twice a week or once a week, then it doesn’t seem like
some hard thing that nobody can achieve.” “We also are highly
connected to our community in that we bring in guest artists,
and we want to expose the students to the ways that
artists work.” “A special guest came in today to talk to us
about improvising in music.” “Art is an essential class
because self-expression is essential – and especially to
kids who are learning these new social circles and learning how
to navigate the world of friends, and bad influences
sometimes and good influences.” “One of my jobs is to help
create what we call a “living textbook production,” which is a
production where a lot of different topics are
incorporated into a final show of some kind that we share with
parents.” “So I’m going to write a piece that the sixth graders
will dance to, and their dance will be them acting out states
of matter – so acting out change in matter, adding energy, taking
away energy.” “As the students are doing this, first of all
they’re beginning to put together and connect these
ideas. Secondly, we’re working on it for a presentation; so
they are understanding that they have to make it clear enough
that they can convey this information to an audience.”
“People who are really good at math, they play with it. They
love it; it’s fun. And we’re trying to figure out how to
bridge that gap with our kids. We want them to love math; we
want them to think it’s fun.” “All of the same steps that are
used in creative processes of any sort are the same processes
that students need in the writing process, the scientific
process. It’s coming up with ideas, organizing those ideas in
a meaningful way, refining those ideas through rehearsal, and
then be able to publish, present or perform those ideas.” “We
want just as much to inspire kids to love and appreciate and
participate in the arts if they don’t go into the arts as
profession. But that’s the audience, and that’s also how we
express our humanity. It’s how we express our current culture.”
“Having art classes here has kind of opened up more
possibilities for me to do stuff outside of school, so it feels
like it kind of exposes a lot more stuff than I would see.” “I
mean, arts based here has gotten me really involved in stuff. I
think that they have improved my life; and I’m going to be going
back to my third grade teachers and staying, ‘Thank you so much
for teaching me this!'” [Closing music] This is a great reminder
of how powerful it is to engage the whole child – mind and body
and community connections with the school. Arts learning pays
off in that way. We see a theme here of kids saying that they
like going to school; they want to go to school; they want to
learn because they’re fully engaged. Joining us on the phone
to answer your questions from the Arts Based School is Arts
Director Mary Siebert. Mary, what skills do you think the
students learn from these art classes that ultimate help
prepare them for postsecondary education and for the workforce?
Hello, and thanks for inviting the participation of the Arts
Based School. I’ve been very inspired by those other schools
too. I have a friend who is a biochemistry professor at Wake
Forest University. He reports that modern students arrive at
college able to ace tests, but they often have tunnel vision.
While they’re well-prepared for science, they struggle with
imagination. They are great at memorizing facts and answering
questions; but they lack skills in critical thinking, creativity
and communication. These are the strengths that the arts develop.
Leonardo de Vinci, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, all
maintained that creativity was critical to success in science
and math. As my friend at Wake Forest says, “We need our young
people to think creatively. We’ve got big problems to solve
in our world, and we struggle to communicate even within our own
culture – probably right up the hill from you. The world is
changing! We need to absorb, understand, appreciate and
incorporate multiple cultures and viewpoints. The arts help us
comprehend and bridge cultures. They help us understand one
another. They help create communicators and original
thinkers. Math and science without creativity are limited
and lead to redundancy instead of breakthroughs.” Thanks, Mary;
we’ll talk again soon. Our fourth and final stop on this
crisscross country tour leads us to Red Lake, Minnesota, where
the students and faculty use the visual arts to connect and
engage with their culture and community. [Video begins]
[Opening Music] “The Red Lake Nation is a sovereign nation.
It’s closed off. It has its own government system; it has its
own police force. There’s something very beautiful about
that and positive; but on the other end, a lot of our kids
don’t get a lot of exposure to the outside world. We have
signed on with the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities
and their National Turnaround Arts Program. Over the course of
the last three years, that’s enabled us to bring in artists
to work with our kids in different areas of dance, spoken
word, some hip hop, painting; and it’s brought in artists from
Arizona, the Twin Cities area, Colorado. They bring in a new
perspective for our kids and a whole new energy. “At Red Lake,
I participated in the plays here. When I was in the play, I
was pretty nervous; and I was still self-conscious about
myself and opening up to people. But then when I did it more, it
was awesome; and people notice me now.” “We want to integrate
arts into our classroom with the standards as our guideline. We
want students to learn the same thing; it’s just sometimes
they’re showing their learning in a different way. So we don’t
want just art in the art room; we want art in all of our
content areas – science, math, social studies, language arts –
to enhance the student learning and really enhance engagement in
learning.” “I think I’m getting better, like at teamwork and
like working with other people and communicating.” “The
quieter, more artistic kids have really been able to show off
what they know and be real leaders throughout the classes
with their arts, with their talents of drawing and writing,
singing, and acting.” “Being creative is kind of you would
think in control of how you like things and the way you like to
express yourself in a way.” “Art is important in itself; but for
us, having a cultural tie to it is extremely important for us
because we want them to have a sense of identity in who they
are as an Ogichidaakwag people, knowing that the Native American
culture is at a critical point where you don’t want to lose
sense of that culture.” [Native American music/dance/singing]
“One reason we do snow snakes is because of where we teach. We
teach on a reservation, and we need to honor that; and we need
to honor the students’ culture and tradition and try to bring
in activities that engage them in their culture and also try to
bring in other people from the community to help with those
activities. So the first thing we do is we have an elder come
in and tell the story of the snow snakes, and then we go out
into the woods and they cut their own snow snakes. They
whittle the sticks on their own; and then they get to get really
creative, where they design and paint the snow snake and make it
unique to them.” “I was trying to dedicate this stick to
something that was important to me, and I came up with the idea
to dedicate it to the LGBTQ plus community.” “In our mural works
that we’ve done, they’re done by local artists and artists that
have a foundation in the Ogichidaakwag culture. They all
enjoy the opportunity to not only work with the artists but
to have their work on the wall.” “When I came to school, I was
amazed at how all these, you know, artwork on the walls. I
felt like I, you know, belong here.” “Art is a reflection of
your community and in school really provides a heartbeat to
your school. It provides it with life, flavor; it creates
passion, a passion for learning.” “Since we’ve made art
a focus in our school, we’ve had a reduction in discipline
referrals of over 40%. Our enrollment has increased 11%.
Our State Standard Test scores have risen. It’s really just
checked all the indicators for us, personally as a Red Lake
Middle School, to show nothing but positive influences on our
kids and in the community.” “Art has really changed my life. It
helped me through a lot of things. It made me a better
person.” Wow, I want to see that video again just to see how the
environment has been transformed by art. Every wall, the
students’ work and the community artists’ work – that sense of
ownership of the learning situation and identification
with the local people and the artistic expressions just really
came across visually there. Joining us on the phone to
answer your questions from Red Lake Middle School is Principal
Mark Benson. Mark? Good morning, thank you for having me. How has
blending the students’ culture and heritage into their art
classes and projects influenced their learning and academic
achievement? Well, as we began to focus more on blending art
and art-based instructional strategies into our core content
classrooms, the cultural component to that just was a
natural fit for us. Blending culture and art, it’s truly made
instruction more engaging for our kids. It’s made the content
more relevant for our students. It has really helped provide
them with a sense of identity. I believe as educators, we play a
vital role in inspiring out kids to push themselves to find that
identity and a sense of pride within them. And the art itself
has lent itself to be an outlet for our kids to speak their
inner voice. The cultural component to that has provided a
sense of Native American pride in our students; and the two
combined together have really transformed the culture of our
school, the sense of pride in our school, and the identity of
our students. Thanks, Mark; stick with us. Art is everywhere
and it takes many forms. We hope this quick glimpse into
impactful arts programs across the country made you want to
learn more about them. Our representatives from each of
these great schools are still on the phone with us to answer your
questions and provide additional insights. So joining us again
are Kate, Megan, Mary and Mark. Welcome back! Thank you to
everyone who submitted questions in advance. We’ll answer as many
questions as we can in the time we have remaining. If you have a
question, please approach the microphone; and, again, provide
your name, organization and question. Let’s get started –
questions to any of our four schools. Hi, tell us who you
are. I’m Jennifer Mayo. I’m an Einstein Fellow with the NASA
Office of Education; and I’m the science TOSA, teacher on special
assignment from Portland public schools, where we have a lot of
arts integration. I’m wondering if you guys can talk
specifically about working with content area teachers and how
their art skills are built up so that arts is, in fact,
everywhere in the building and not just in the arts classroom.
Thanks. This is Mary; I can speak to that at the Arts Based
School. We provide teachers with a period a week every week of
school, where they rotate through the art specialists and
attend with their students. So they learn what the art
specialists are teaching their kids. Then we also meet on a
rotating basis with all the arts specialists and the grade level
teachers so we can brainstorm together how to cross-integrate
so that the content teachers include the arts and/or use
them, and the art specialists include content. Yes? I just saw
a line of people; and then I looked up, and they disappeared.
Well, I have plenty of questions. Go ahead, Ayanna. Hi,
Ayanna Hudson; I’m with the National Endowment for the Arts.
This question specifically is for Kate at Hilltop Artists. I
heard students in the video talk about how much they enjoy coming
to class now because of their participation in the glass
blowing class. I wonder if you can talk a little bit about the
relationship or the partnership between Hilltop artists and the
school district, and whether or not students participating in
your program receive school credit for the classes that they
take. Yes, so we have an incredible partnership with
Tacoma Public Schools. Our daytime classes at Jason Lee
Middle School and Wilson High School are elective classes that
they get credit for. We’ve also been able to partner with local
high schools when we have students come back as TAs, and
they will get credit for being with us in the daytime classes.
They will also get high school credit for contributing in that
way. Really one of the things that makes a huge difference is
our partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, which is an
innovative school district that’s really working to be
creative in their solutions. So we’ve been partnering with them
for 23 years. From there, we now have a School of the Arts; and
we have a Science and Math Institute school. They are
really exploring innovative ways to increase graduation rates,
and they’ve seen results. Here’s a question. Tell us who you are.
Good morning. Mario Rossero — I oversee all the education
programs here at the Kennedy Center. Thanks to all of our
guests on the phone, and this could go to any one of you. I’m
just curious what assessment strategies you have in place to
measure impact and outcomes of arts learning, whether that be
within the arts; on other content areas; or even
social/emotional/behavioral. Thank you. I can take that one.
For the Red Lake Middle School, our focus has been predominantly
on leveraging the arts to meet the needs of our students
socially and emotionally. We believe that having our kids in
the right state of mind is going to help them learn. Just looking
at the baseline data of attendance rates/discipline
referrals, we really have shown a reduction in discipline
referrals with our students. We’ve shown an increase both in
attendance rates and in enrollment rates, which to me
shows signs of the community really seeing the value of what
arts has done for our school and what it’s done to change the
environment in our school. A byproduct of that is if you look
at both our State Standards and our State MCA scores, they’re on
the rise every year since we’ve implemented art into our core
content areas. I feel that it’s really had a big impact on how
our students feel about themselves. I can answer this as
well; this is Megan West from Orchard Gardens in Boston. I
would agree. So we are a large district school; we have almost
1,000 students. So we measure impact largely on comprehensive
terms, as Mark described. I talked a bit about our
attendance rates and how they have really skyrocketed since
implementation of our arts integration programming. But we
also watch, as Mark said, our standardized assessments, our
state tests, as well as our social/emotional data in the
form of students’ ascension rates, student surveys, looking
at how students are feeling about coming to school. All of
those data points have increased significantly in the seven years
that we’ve invested in the arts in this way. I would say in more
recent years, the last couple of years, our arts team has taken
our data-centered approach to their own work, trying to
measure how many students have the opportunity to perform –
whether that’s on stage, through displaying their artwork,
through doing choral presentations at a family night
– and really measuring the opportunity to perform and how
they’re successful they’re being as instructors in providing
students with those opportunities. Then on a much
longer-term view, we look at how many of our students are
matriculating to what we would consider high-quality high
schools because to us, that’s the long-term trajectory impact
— how are we impacting students’ lives? And all of
these data points feed into for us that final data point for
eighth graders. I think it’s also an exciting movement
because as we all know working in schools, what gets measured
is what’s valued. And so making the case through data that arts
has a real impact is incredibly important to sustaining our
programming. Thank you. Hi, I’m Jeff Poulin with Americans for
the Arts. My question – at first glance, if you look at the NAEP
data, it shows that students from suburban communities
outperform those in rural and urban schools. And it’s no doubt
that these examples have achieved great success in arts
learning. So my question is for the schools that are not located
in suburban communities, what decisions have you made as
school leaders that have really made the difference for student
success in arts learning? This is Mary at the Arts Based
School. Winston-Salem is not a large city, but we’re located in
the middle of it. We’ve always been an Arts Based School since
our inception, so we haven’t had the opportunity to demonstrate
change. But what we do that I think is remarkable – gosh, I
lost track of the question all of a sudden; what was it again?
Jeff? It’s a good thing I wrote this down. What does—? Oh, I
know what I was going to say. Great, you got it; you got it.
Integrating the arts into other content is a powerful way for
people from all different walks of life to be able to experience
the arts. One of the resources that we relied on, or that many
schools in our area rely on, is an organization called A+
Schools out of Raleigh, North Carolina. They’re now expanding
into seven states and even into Europe. There are resources like
that, that are not expensive. If a school doesn’t have, let’s say
the space or the finances or the staff to teach discreet arts,
it’s possible to train your staff to integrate the arts; and
that starts to expose your children in an inner city school
to the arts even when there are not additional resources
available. I also think – this is Megan again from Boston –
that districts have a large role to play in making arts available
to students everywhere. We’re part of the Boston Public
Schools, and our status allows us to use our funding in a way
that we see fit. So I don’t get any more funding or less funding
than another neighboring Boston Public School, but I have more
autonomy as a principal over how that funding is allocated. And I
think a district that puts that level of trust in its principals
also puts the power to provide robust arts and an enriching
curriculum to all students in the hands of principals. So at a
district level, I recommend looking at Boston as an example
of that. Good morning. Peter Milligan with the Wolf Trap
Foundation for the Performing Arts. My question is twofold if
I may be so bold. The first one is really, I think, directed
more at Megan and Mary. We saw in your videos you talk about
kindergarten. There’s plenty of research that points to the
importance of starting both arts learning and other creative
outlets of learning at an early age and that’s setting them up
for future academic success. So I wonder if you can provide a
little bit more detail about how early age children are getting
exposed to the arts in your schools. And then my second
question is more for everyone. I’m curious as to how your
classroom teachers – outside of the arts or science teachers,
your math teachers – how receptive they are to your
vision of being an arts-focused school and how you’re setting
them up to be stewards of your arts vision. Well, at the Arts
Based School, every student at every grade level studies the
arts – visual arts, music, drama and dance – all the way through.
So it’s not an elective; and it becomes just part of school,
both because it’s integrated into the classroom and because
they take art for art’s sake. The teachers also train in
integrating the arts into their instruction, so the
kindergartners sort of eat, breathe, live through the arts.
They do large productions with members of the community, and
it’s just an ongoing flow. By the time they reach fifth grade,
they are so confident performing in front of one another, sharing
a visual art, that they can do masterful performances because
they’re completely courageous. I can speak briefly structurally.
So the way that students are exposed to the arts at Orchard
Gardens is they experience all of our different arts offerings
between kindergarten and third grade. By the time they’re
entering fourth grade, they do start to elect into specialized
courses. So they’ll elect a performing arts course, as well
as a visual arts course, which some students from fourth
through eighth stick with the same two courses and really
become experts in those courses. Some of their personalities lend
them to want to try everything, and so we allow that as well so
that it can be a really organic and inspiring part of their
curriculum. Good morning. My name is Susan Oetgen; I’m with
the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. My question is
really for anyone who wants to take it. Can you speak to the
impact on students with IEPs or students with disabilities with
your arts learning programs? I can take that; this is Kate from
Hilltop Artists. We work with students at all different skills
levels, and we have seen at times that art, and being able
to move and refocus, can help students if they’re struggling.
We have students that they were considered to not be able to
succeed in the standard academic courses; and they would get
frustrated, and they would be throwing tables. But we bring
them here; and we would at those moments of frustration say,
“Okay, let’s just go make something and take a break,” and
then they would be able to go back to their classwork and just
have a renewed energy to take that on. We’ve worked with
students on the autism spectrum. We really work with students to
meet them where they’re at and build those opportunities for
belonging and connection. I really second that philosophy of
meeting children where they are at. That’s how the arts work,
and you’re able to teach at many different levels at once. So if
you have a child with special needs, you can alter the script;
or you can allow them to work at whatever depth they’re suited to
at the time. This is Ken Skrzesz representing the State Education
Agency Directors of Arts Education. In broad strokes, how
are the successful arts curricula specific to your
schools influenced by, and aligned with, state and national
standards? This is Mark Benson from the Red Lake Middle School.
We use the arts in all our core content areas, and it allows for
our teachers to still teach the State Standards in their
classrooms, but allows our students to express their
learning or show their learning utilizing the arts. So it
becomes not an addition to but a part of the teaching and a part
of showing their mastery of the State Standards. Hi, this is Ken
Elpus from the University of Maryland College Park. I’m
interested specifically if any of you can talk to some of the
strategies that your teachers within the arts use to
systematically assess student learning, specifically in the
artistic processes of creating, performing and responding and,
to a lesser extent, connecting that are contemplated in the
National Core Arts Standards. This is Mary. I think sometimes,
specifically when you’re teaching something like reading
music, it can be difficult for the teachers to figure out how
to incorporate the creative aspect of the requirements; and
improvisation is one of the tools that I think is the most
useful when it comes to that. But also, if you develop
improvisatory skills in acting or dance or music or visual art,
and you continue to use them, you can develop performances
together based on those skills. We do that through script
development, even at first grade and second grade, where the kids
improvise the script; and then we save what’s valuable, and
that becomes the solid script, for example. Hello, Jim
Palmarini, Educational Theater Association. This is a question
for all of you. I wondered what the perceived community impact
has been on your arts-based program; in other words, parents
and other community members. Has it prompted more involvement
among the community to the activities of the school,
particularly around the arts? Yes, this is Mark Benson from
the Red Lake Middle School. We’ve used the arts to really
bring parents in. We’ve had a long history of struggling to
get parent involvement. We used it to create a more welcoming
environment for our parents. We’ve had them be a part of
helping to create artistic displays in the school. We’ve
utilized plays and musicals as dinner theaters for our parents,
and it’s really had a positive response in creating more of a
partnership between the community and the schools. One
other project that I want to just highlight real quick is we
used a resident artist to work with our kids on a mural in our
school. And a byproduct of that is we went out into the
community and took a bus stop that was run down and brought it
back to the school, refurbished it, and had that artist work
with our kids to put on a similar floral pattern and
brought it back out into the community. The response from our
community when they came to the school was magic. It really has
allowed us to be – the school community has really reached out
to the community, and the arts have made that a big helping
hand. I agree with that completely. I’ll also add that
our school is over 60% English language learners. Another
powerful aspect of the arts in bringing families into school is
that you don’t need to speak a specific language in order to
understand and be moved by your children’s artwork or by art in
general. So families by far come to our arts-based engagement
events much more frequently than they come to other events. I
think families who are recent immigrants and who are still
learning English and who sometimes feel intimidated to
come to a school building for another reason feel very, very
welcome and very comfortable coming for a show or an art
gallery. And then that starts conversations, and that brings
families back in the door; and that creates a community that
otherwise we would struggle to create. Hi, my name is Chené
Byrd. I’m a professional hip hop artist. I’m also an educator;
I’m here representing the Sitar Arts Center, the After-School
Arts Program. I wanted to ask anyone who is willing to answer,
how often do you all connect with after-school programs, if
at all; and do you see areas of growth related to connecting
in-school instruction and what’s happening in after-school
programs? This is Kate from Hilltop Artists. We have
after-school programs as a part of our offerings. We have nine
different programs, including after-school for middle school
and high school students; and we also have summer programs and
evening. So we definitely see the connection. We work with
students from ages 12 to 20; and sometimes we have students that
start with us when they are 12, and they stay with us until they
are 20. So to build skills over many years, build a relationship
with students over many years, has been a critical part of our
success. We have an Outreach Manager as well that works with
our students and works with their families. And being able
to have students in our daytime classes and identify whether or
not they would truly benefit from being in more of our
programs is something that we have an opportunity to do
because we have so many different offerings. Yes, this
is Mark. I just wanted to piggyback off of that. Just to
kind of give you guys perspective, our school is a
very remote area. Our nearest McDonald’s is roughly about 45
miles away, so our after-school programming is a vital resource
for our kids; and we use it to leverage some of our
programming. We’ve created a Performance Club after school,
an Art Club after school. We utilize it to do rehearsals for
our musicals and plays. And we’ve also brought in resident
artists to do some photography classes and mural work with our
kids. All of those components come back into the regular core
curriculum throughout our school. It gives kids a lot of
pride and competence to be more engaged in their work. Thank
you. This is Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research from the
National Endowment for the Arts – if you don’t mind National
Endowment for the Arts double-dipping. We had another
question earlier. Just to say that I’ve really enjoyed the
panel discussion and the videos. I wanted to ask – I was struck
by Megan’s comment about the autonomy at the principal level
and how that can help guide the uptake of arts education in the
school. I’m wondering; we heard some benefits about attendance,
benefits associated with enrollment in other courses; and
of course there has been talk about academic achievement in
other related to the presence of arts in education. Do any of you
see any cost data, or use of cost data, in making the case?
In other words, apart from sort of the benefits to the community
or attendance data that you can point to, have you thought about
some of the cost elements of the work you provide and how to
position that in a comparative way with other kinds of
programming across your schools? This is Megan again. I’m not
sure if this is exactly the question that you’re asking; but
when we think about how we’re allocating resources and, of
course, among those resources is money but also we think about
time; we think about the structure of our day. As a
school, we try to think of the long-term benefits for our
students. I think in education we often think very short term,
right? We want to get the Standardized Test scores that
year; we want to see it year over year; we want to see that
immediately. We want to see that as well, but we believe – we
have the luxury of being a K-8, where we have many students for
10-plus years. But we believe if we invest students in education
more broadly and the power of education and in wanting to be
at school and in believing in their own skills that will
ultimately serve them better in the long term than spending
extra time, extra money, solely on math and English language
arts because those are tested subjects. So I think the
autonomy for me allows me to make that decision for my school
and then also to be accountable for all the other pieces. We’re
still accountable to State measures, and we take those very
seriously; but we also can build our own case based on our
beliefs about what is most powerful for students and then
see that borne out over time. So we see in our data that our
eighth graders outperform most eighth graders in the state. It
takes them a little bit longer to get there than some of our
neighboring schools who get quicker year-over-year
Standardized Test growth results. I don’t know if that’s
what you were talking about. When we think about cost and
benefit, I try to think long term; and I’m grateful that I
work in a school and in a district that gives me the
autonomy to be able to do that and then to be held accountable
for the long-term results as well. We’ve completed our time
for questions. I want to thank everybody for their very
thoughtful participation. Thank you to Kate and Megan and Mary
and Mark for your insights and participating. [Applause] Today
we’ve had the chance to hear the results of the Nation’s Report
Card 2016 Arts and see how four schools are using arts programs
to enrich their students’ educational experiences. I was
reminded today that Ernest Boyer, the former U.S.
Commissioner of Education, talked about the arts, got
visual art, music, dance and drama together as an arts symbol
system — like words and numbers are symbols — that students use
as a language to learn about everything else. And because the
arts – words and numbers – represent the objects and
experience of the world in unique and different ways, when
you don’t give students literacy, numeracy and artistry
to learn with, some students won’t succeed in school at all;
and no students will achieve their greatest potential. I was
also reminded by our inspiring videos that arts learning
doesn’t happen in a school without the personal commitment
of visionary superintendents, principals, curriculum
supervisors, teachers, parents and school board leaders. We all
have a part to play in order for students to learn in and through
the arts. On behalf of the Governing Board, we thank you
for attending and tuning into today’s event. Remember to join
others on Twitter in talking about the report card results.
Remember to use the hashtag NAEP, N-A-E-P. If you aren’t
already, please follow the Governing Board on Twitter and
Facebook to stay informed of our latest news. You can also visit
HYPERLINK “http://www.NationsReportCard.go
v” www.NationsReportCard.gov to see the full arts report and
take a closer look and explore the data. If you go to HYPERLINK
“http://www.NAGB.gov” www.NAGB.gov, the Governing
Board’s website, you can find even more materials, including a
news release and the frameworks that guide the NAEP assessments.
In a few days, the videos shown today will be available there;
and today’s webcast will be available in a few weeks. For
our guests here at the Kennedy Center, we’d like to invite you
to join us for a tour. If you’re interested, please convene in
the back of the gallery following the conclusion of the
event. Thank you. It’s been a pleasure to be your moderator,
and that concludes our event for today. [Applause]

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