Federal Funding Priorities: What is the Effect of the Arts on Academic Achievement in Disadvantaged Populations

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I am now working on the four-year compendium report: “Measuring the Effect of the Arts on Academic Achievement in Disadvantaged Populations.” Through a rigorous, randomized, experimental design including two trials, one three-year trial and one four-year trial, we have measured the effects of arts integration on student achievement in Rochester, NY’s disadvantaged population. We measured student achievement on New York State ELA and MATH tests and we also measured the rigor of arts integration implementation, professional development for teachers, skill acquisition for students, and the exact skills that the arts helped contribute to increased student achievement. I will post the executive summary from this work in about a month.

In the third year of the second trial, the latest for which we have numbers, we found the average effect size was 0.40 in ELA and 0.39 in Math which exactly replicates meta-analyses of the effect of integrating curricula (Hattie, 2009, p. 298; integrated curricula effect size = 0.39). This research found that it is possible to develop significant arts integration with disadvantaged urban populations. We could not have done this without the support of federal funding through the US Department of Education’s AEMDD grant.