highlights from key national research on arts education
Champions of Change: Studies
Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education Summary Evaluation
Professor James S. Catterall, Principal Investigator, and Ms. Lynn Waldorf, Coordinator and Field Researcher
Imagination Project at University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
The Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) is a citywide school improvement initiative that forges partnerships connecting teachers and schools with artists and arts organizations to make quality arts education a central part of the daily learning experience for public school students in high-poverty schools. Teachers and artists work collaboratively to integrate the curriculum with arts disciplines.
Researchers used data from different test instruments and different school profiles (an average of all Chicago schools or high poverty schools only) to compare with the CAPE schools. "The final result is 52 separate comparison, each showing a grade level, specific test, poverty level high or low, and two sets of comparative scores." (p.54) CAPE is a young program, founded in 1992, and the researchers noted its impact on student scores strengthening as the program developed.
Some of the findings from the report include:
- Elementary students who attended schools in which the arts were integrated with classroom curriculum outperformed their peers in math who did not have an arts-integrated curriculum. In 1998, more than 60 percent of the students attending schools integrated with the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE) performed at or above grade level on the math portion of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills while the remainder of Chicago Public School students averaged just over 40 percent. Those same numbers in 1992, before the CAPE program began were 40 percent in the pre-CAPE schools and 28 percent district-wide. (p.54-55, Figure 4)
- 6th grade students who attended schools in which the arts were integrated with classroom curriculum outperformed their peers in reading who did not have an arts-integrated curriculum. In 1998, the difference in the Iowa Basic Skills Test for 6th grade reading favoring 19 schools integrated with the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE) was 14 percentage points above 29 other Chicago public schools matched to the CAPE schools in terms of family income, neighborhood, and academic performance. In 1992, before CAPE was initiated, the difference between those schools had been 8 percentage points. (p.55, Figure 5)
Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education Evaluation Summary is one of seven major studies compiled in Champions of Change produced by the national Arts Education Partnership, the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the GE Fund, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.