Cultivating Demand for the Arts

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 Cultivating Demand for the Arts

In the last chapter, we described the knowledge and skills that enable individuals to experience deeper engagement with works of art. In this chapter and the next, we examine the extent to which children and adults have access to the kind of instruction that develops that capacity. Although we focus on schools and colleges, where most of the instruction and resources exist, we describe the entire institutional infrastructure for arts learning.1 Data shortcomings are always the key limitation in such analyses. We used whatever data were available and relatively current to describe the amount of instruction delivered, populations reached, and general content of the learning provided in different parts of the system. The result is necessarily sketchy, but we believe such a broad systems perspective, which is rarely attempted, will help arts and education policymakers assess how well American institutions are functioning, make better decisions about which parts of the system can most benefit from intervention, and identify strategies that are the most likely to improve outcomes of interest.

We classify institutional supports for youth arts learning into four main components, as illustrated in Figure 4.1:

  1. The K–12 public school system, which is the primary source of arts education for the young. No other system has the access, resources, and responsibility for ensuring that young people have equal opportunity to become knowledgeable about the arts.

  2. Publicly supported after-school programs based in schools, which constitute an arts learning source that draws on a multitude of arts providers in the communities around schools.

  3. Arts learning in the community, which consists of the learning opportunities offered by arts organizations, community service organizations, and community schools of the arts.

  4. Higher education, which plays several critical supporting roles within the support infrastructure, the most important of which is training teachers who work in the K–12 system and offering ongoing professional development. Many colleges and universities also house museums, performing arts centers, and community schools of the arts, all of which offer educational programs. Some also contribute to after-school programs in the arts.



Beyond these four main delivery systems are multiple supporting organizations—including philanthropic funders, government agencies, professional associations, parent groups, and many others that advocate reforms and influence policy—all of which we show as funders and policymakers in Figure 4.1.2

In the following discussion, we describe the system characteristics of each component of the support infrastructure, including recent trends that have shaped them. To the extent the data allow, we describe the amount of instruction and the nature of its content, defining content in terms of the national arts content standards. In particular, we are looking for signs that instruction includes developing learners’ aesthetic skills and imparting the historical and cultural context that enriches responses to works of art. We acknowledge, however, that comprehensive arts instruction takes more time and more resources than narrowly focused instruction does, and that time and funding are serious constraints in the public school system.

We emphasize the schools in our overview, and the education policies that sustain them, because public education has the broadest responsibility and the most resources for providing equitable access to arts learning. Community-based programs cannot be expected to be as comprehensive, sequential, or far reaching as school instruction, but they can complement school instruction in significant ways. One of the most positive developments we describe is the trend toward greater integration of community-based and school-based programs to provide more comprehensive arts learning to students. A single high-quality program with a limited purpose can be effective in getting young people engaged with an art form; for example, a mentoring program that pays for theater enthusiasts to take a few high school students from low-income families to a play and spend 90 minutes discussing the experience with them afterward (the Open Doors program supported by the Theater Development Fund in New York), or a museum tour for children that invites them to look at paintings in a specific way. Such one-time programs can play an important part in creating interest in the arts and are particularly effective when combined with comprehensive school-based arts programs that build greater skills over a longer period of time.

K–12 Arts Education

Structural Characteristics

Formal arts education is delivered within the vast U.S. public school system, which consists of approximately 92,000 schools and 15,000 school districts. Development of this system was highly decentralized, decisionmaking taking place mainly at the district and school levels. Trends in governance over the past few decades, however, have led to greater centralization of decisionmaking at state levels and even the federal level. States now control about half of the funding that goes to education, and there are spending restrictions on an increasing percentage of the funds they allocate to districts (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2006). Besides their control of funding, state departments of education determine which subjects must be tested and how, stipulate the proficiency standards that must be met, select instructional materials, and mandate core curriculum. In sum, even though local school boards still administer the education provided in the schools—making most decisions about individual school finances, hiring and firing, and sometimes the textbooks and curricula that are adopted—their discretion has become increasingly constrained since the 1990s. They have fewer flexible dollars for their districts to allocate as they see fit and less freedom to pursue local reforms (Howell, 2005; Augustine, Epstein, and Vuolo, 2006; EdSource, 1996–2008).

Discretion with regard to arts education, as opposed to general education, rests much more firmly with districts and individual schools, however. Although almost every state now mandates standards-based arts education, states have not provided the resources, incentives, or accountability mechanisms needed to carry out that mandate. As a result, arts instruction exists only to the extent that school districts and individual schools decide to offer it. Thus, for example, a school will not have a music program unless the school board decides that music study is important enough to provide the supporting resources for it, including a qualified teacher, a sequential curriculum, and sufficient time in the school day. This decentralized authority means that the arts are only included and sustained in the school day if they are continually justified at the local level by arts specialists, parents, and community activists.

Pressures for accountability in non-arts subject areas and decreases in districts’ discretionary budgets have created hostile conditions for sustained arts education. Many principals report that exemplary arts programs exist because of a single arts education champion, often an arts specialist but sometimes a principal or superintendent. They also report that when that catalyst moves on or retires, the programs may lapse.3

Three national reform movements in general education over the past 15 years have considerably affected arts education:

  1. the push for content standards in every academic discipline
  2. educational test-based accountability focused on language and mathematics
  3. reforms in teacher licensure and certification programs (Sabol, 2004).

The first of these galvanized the arts education, arts policy, education, and arts communities to join together in an unprecedented collaborative effort to articulate national standards in each of the arts disciplines. The second imposed accountability measures, such as standardized testing, to determine whether students were meeting achievement goals, especially in language and mathematics and exclusive of the arts. As a result, a few state departments of education developed and implemented assessments of learning in the arts, and once the fine arts had been added to the national education goals, they were included in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) (U.S. Department of Education, 1994). These assessments were not, however, funded at the same levels as assessment for other subjects; nor were they made subject to test-based accountability, which imposes sanctions if students fail to learn the subject matter. The third reform, concerning certification, was stimulated by the standards movement and the assessments that followed, which raised questions about why schools were not following content standards and brought renewed calls for more-rigorous teacher licensing in all subjects, including the arts (Council of Chief State School Officers, 1992; National Art Education Association, 1999; NEA, 1988). This call for reform at the federal policy level initiated reforms of state certification policies and helped spread the use of improved models for teacher preparation and certification in the arts.

These developments call attention to the peculiar predicament of arts education today. On the one hand, the creation of both national and state content standards in music, theater, dance, and visual arts represents a great advance in the field. The standards express the uniqueness and value of each arts discipline, especially theater and dance, for which content guidelines had seldom been developed in the past. They also represent a consensus that never existed before about the key aspects of arts study. On the other hand, content standards do not necessarily translate into improved arts learning in the classroom. In today’s climate, some argue that in the absence of standardized testing and assessment, arts standards are not likely to be budgeted.4 And if they are not budgeted, they will not be implemented, and school districts will be unable to find the human and material resources needed to teach to them.5 Yet assessment in the arts does not lend itself to standardized testing in the way that fact-based disciplines do. The skills and knowledge called for by proponents of comprehensive arts education might be more appropriately assessed through open-ended responses and possible portfolio assessments.

Of course, schools, like all organizations, have always had to contend with budget constraints. But because the arts have always been considered peripheral to the main educational enterprise, they are particularly vulnerable to elimination from the curriculum when budgets get tight. In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of arts specialists in urban school districts lost their jobs because of budget cuts, and entire arts education programs were dismantled in some areas (Caterall and Brizendine, 1984; Jackson, 2007). The NEA, SAAs, and private foundations responded by providing grants designed to help schools keep at least some form of their arts education programs going (Bumgarner 1994a,b). Today, many schools rely on these grants, which in some cases represent the only available funding for arts education.

Amount and Reach of Instruction

How much arts education is the public school system delivering, and how many children does it reach? Because authority for arts education largely resides with individual schools and school districts, it is difficult to answer these questions. Even within school districts, good data on arts education are difficult to come by, and state-level data are seldom collected. Several states, however, have recently conducted surveys of the arts education programs offered in their public schools, and the U.S. Department of Education conducted national surveys in 1984–1985, 1994–1995, and 1999–2000 (Carey et al., 2002). These provide a glimpse of the general landscape.6 Other data come from a survey of public school principals in Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, and New York to determine trends in resource allocation to arts education in the schools since the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was implemented (von Zastrow and Janc, 2004).

Elementary School. According to the 1999–2000 national survey, almost all elementary students receive some arts instruction in music and visual arts, but few get instruction in theater or dance (14 percent of elementary schools responding offered theater, and 20 percent offered dance). The survey indicates that elementary students get an average of just over 60 minutes per week of music instruction and a few minutes less per week of visual art instruction (Carey et al., 2002). State surveys are somewhat more pessimistic: According to principals in Illinois, for example, elementary students receive only 40 minutes of arts instruction per week, almost exclusively in music and the visual arts. In Washington and New Jersey, instructional time for music and the visual arts is closer to 45 minutes per week, but again, only in music and the visual arts. In contrast, a recent U.S. Department of Education survey indicates that elementary students receive each week approximately 11.6 hours of instruction in language arts, 5.4 hours in mathematics, 2.5 hours in social studies, and 2.3 hours in science.7

Two states—Illinois and Washington—report that a significant proportion of elementary students are receiving no instruction in the arts at all. In Washington, for example, 18 percent of students receive no music, 34 percent receive no visual arts, 73 percent receive no drama, and 81 percent receive no dance, leaving some students with no arts instruction in any of these disciplines (Washington State Arts Commission, 2006). In Illinois, about one-third of students in any elementary grade receive no instruction in any of the arts (Illinois Arts Alliance, 2006).

There is also evidence that arts education at the elementary level is declining. In Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, and New York, one-quarter of public school principals reported cutbacks in the arts, and 36 percent of principals in low-income schools reported such cutbacks over the past five years (von Zastrow and Janc, 2004). According to a report on music in California public schools, more than 1,000 music specialists lost their jobs between 1999 and 2004, representing a loss of more than one-quarter of all music specialists in the state, and the number of students taking music classes declined by 50 percent (Music for All Foundation, 2004). A representative survey of 349 school districts across the country found that most elementary schools have increased instructional time in tested subjects (by 46 percent in English and 37 percent in mathematics) in the five years since NCLB took effect. In 44 percent of school districts, the increases in instruction for these tested subjects came at the expense of instruction in social studies (reduced by 36 percent), science (reduced by 28 percent), and art and music (reduced by 16 percent) (Center on Education Policy, 2007, p. 7).

Although the class time allocated for arts education has been slipping, the teachers at the front of the classroom tend to be arts specialists. National data show that in 92 percent of elementary schools, music instruction is provided by a full- or part-time arts specialist. In visual arts, the proportion is 72 percent. The state data show similar patterns: In New Jersey, over 95 percent of instruction in music and the visual arts in both elementary and high schools is provided by certified arts specialists (New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, 2007b). In Kentucky, 90 percent of music instruction and 67 percent of visual arts instruction are offered by certified specialists (Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, 2005). In West Virginia, the majority of music instruction at all grade levels is offered by music specialists, a percentage that increases from grade 1 through grade 8. The figure is lower for the visual arts in the early grades but shows the same trend, increasing in percentage with each grade level. A very high percentage of music and art students in grades 7 and 8 receive instruction from arts specialists (Appalachian Education Initiative, 2006). In California, by contrast, only 25 percent of elementary schools have one or more full-time-equivalent arts specialists (Woodworth et al., 2007).

State data also reveal substantial socioeconomic disparities in access to arts education. In California, for example, students in low-income schools receive about one-half the amount of arts education that students in affluent schools do.8 Even schools described as “medium poverty” get substantially more arts education than very low-income schools. Inequities are also created by “shadow” funding mechanisms. Most of the funding for arts education is provided by parent groups in 59 percent of public schools in affluent areas, compared with 11 percent of public schools in low-income areas (Woodworth et al., 2007, p. 15). Other private funds, such as business and foundation grants, provide most of the funding in 17 percent of affluent schools, compared with 7 percent of low-income schools. In New Jersey, an average of 43 percent of funding for arts education, excluding salaries and one-time capital expenditures, is provided by sources external to the school district. This percentage is higher in affluent than in low-income school districts.9

Middle and High School. The majority of students in U.S. middle and high schools are no longer required to take arts courses. Few states (12, as we wrote this document) require any form of arts education for graduation from middle school; for high school graduation, 21 states require at least one arts course, and 15 require students to choose between an arts course and a course in another subject, such as the practical arts or physical education (Arts Education Partnership, “Arts Requirement for High School Graduation,” n.d.).

Because arts classes are typically electives after grade 6, participation in arts education classes drops off in middle school and is minimal by the time students reach high school.10 Chapman (1982a, p. 74) called high school students the “neglected majority” 25 years ago, and little has changed since then. In California high schools, for example, just 25 percent of students take visual arts in any given year, and only 14 percent take music, 8 percent enroll in theater courses, and 4 percent take dance (Woodworth et al., 2007). In New Jersey in 2005–2006, 39 percent of high school students enrolled in a visual arts class, 39 percent in music, 6 percent in theater, and 5 percent in dance (New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, 2007b). There is also evidence that few high school students enroll in more than a single introductory course in any of the artistic disciplines. The Kentucky survey, for example, shows a steady decline in the proportion of high schools that offer more than one year of music study: 65 percent offer one year of music, 50 percent offer two years, 41 percent offer three years, and so forth (Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, 2005). In Illinois, most high schools offer fewer than four visual arts courses and only one or two music courses, one theater course, and no dance courses each year (Illinois Arts Alliance, 2006).

These findings show that as students mature, they are less likely to pursue courses in the arts. Of all the age groups, teenagers are the least likely to receive arts education that could foster their interest in future participation in the arts. We also found little evidence of high school arts courses for students not interested in making or performing works of art. As we point out in the next chapter, college campuses offer a full range of such courses, many of which would be appropriate for high school students.

Content of Instruction

Few recent studies have been conducted on the content of arts education, but studies whose results have been published in the past 25 years suggest that the scant arts education offered is rarely broad or rigorous and is often narrow and casual. The NEA’s Toward Civilization report (1988) found that arts education in American schools focused on teaching the skills of creating and performing, not on imparting historical or analytic knowledge about the arts. Studies on education in specific arts disciplines tend to confirm that assessment. Chapman (1982a), for example, found that the prevailing educational practice in visual arts education focused narrowly on creative art activities—not to be confused with rigorous studio instruction—“without a corresponding emphasis on teaching for appreciation” (p. 11). Chapman found that because early education in the visual arts was so scant and nonsequential, 75 percent of the high school teachers she surveyed taught drawing, design, painting, sculpture, and ceramics in the same way teachers taught them in elementary and middle school (p. 75). Since we have no evidence that any state public school systems have implemented sequential arts education, it is likely that this practice is still prevalent.

Gillespie (1991) makes a similar point about theater education: “[I]t is fragmented and discontinuous; that is, the college curriculum assumes nothing from high school, nor the high school from the elementary school. . . . It pays relatively little explicit attention to aesthetic issues at any level” (p. 38). Theater education in elementary school, according to Gillespie, focuses on the personal and social development of students through the performance of dramatic skits. Plays are typically either improvised or written for the specific age group; children are seldom introduced to standard plays, even versions rewritten for an age group (pp. 35–36). In high school, students receive more-rigorous instruction in production and performance, especially acting and technical theater, but aesthetic and historical learning is still neglected. Students do not even develop familiarity with substantive works of drama through performance. Since World War II, not one play by a recognized master of Western drama has been among the 20 most frequently produced high school plays. The criteria in these selections are recreation and entertainment rather than cultural enrichment (p. 36). Only in college can students find theater courses that include history, criticism, and theory of drama, courses in which the classics of Western drama make up an important part of public performances (p. 36).

The music curriculum in many high schools also concentrates on teaching the knowledge and skills associated with performance, in this case through such instrumental ensembles as band, orchestra, and choir. Classes typically have a rehearsal/concert format (Schwadron, 1988). The proliferation of competitions among school bands and ensembles reinforces the pressure to achieve excellence in performance at the cost of other arts educational goals (Reimer, 2003; Fowler, 1988, 1996; Kirchhoff, 1988; Detels, 1999). According to Fowler (1996, p. 33), many U.S. high school arts programs “confine their educational focus to what is essentially vocational training.”

Since state standards for arts learning were established, however, the content of instruction has been evolving to reflect them. Given that there have been no increases in the time or resources devoted to the arts—in fact, there is some evidence of decreases in both—this can only mean that some small portion of existing instruction has been redirected to align with the content described in the standards. This alignment is a far cry from implementation of the standards, but it does reflect greater agreement that the objective of arts education is not totally reducible to making art. The 1999–2000 national survey indicated that about 75 percent of elementary school curricula and 80 percent of high school arts curricula were “aligned” with state standards. In a recent survey of high school visual arts instructors, 90 percent of respondents reported that their curricula were aligned with the national standards (National Art Education Association, 2001).

The few state surveys that asked about alignment found less observance. In California, for example, survey results showed that most K–12 schools (60 percent) had aligned their instruction with the standards in one or more disciplines. In Washington, however, the survey found that just 40 percent of music teachers and 24 percent of visual arts teachers had aligned their curricula with state standards in elementary school, and fewer than 20 percent of all other classroom teachers and arts specialists in the various disciplines and at all grade levels had aligned their instruction with the standards.

Professional Development

Professional development (also called in-service training) of practicing teachers, another critical part of the support infrastructure for K–12 arts learning, has grown in importance over the past 10 years with the push toward standards-based arts curricula. Because most general classroom teachers have had little or no training in the arts, they need rigorous professional development in order to be responsible for arts instruction in their classrooms. And even then, it is unlikely that the full range of knowledge and skills needed to teach to the standards can be developed in teachers who do not already have a strong arts background. Yet many types of institutions—colleges and universities, arts education associations, community-based arts education organizations, arts organizations, etc.—have stepped up to this task, as we describe in a later section. These institutions have received support from state departments of education, but also from the NEA, which has a tradition of offering professional development to general classroom teachers, arts specialists, and teaching artists. State and local arts agencies have also played important roles in this area. Professional training takes a number of forms, including in-school seminars or conferences, workshops with artists or arts groups, and programs on college campuses.

As in other parts of the arts teacher education system, there are few public data on these programs. The state surveys mentioned earlier provide some statistics on the proportion of districts offering professional development opportunities to general classroom teachers and arts specialists, but little is known about the number of programs, their quality, and the proportion of arts teachers who take advantage of them.

After-School Programs

A growing proportion of youth arts learning in the United States is occurring in the vast and expanding arena of after-school programs.11 Participation in these programs is voluntary, however, so with the exception of some subsidized programs in low-income areas, families are responsible for finding and paying for their children’s participation. As with arts education in the public schools, after-school arts programs, as we describe below, have been shaped by a number of factors having nothing to do with the arts.

Structural Characteristics

The after-school sector is a huge, decentralized collection of heterogeneous providers largely disconnected from one another. Over the past 50 years, this sector has developed rapidly in response to various economic and social changes, including the movement of large numbers of women into the workforce and the increasing number of single-parent and other nontraditional families. Over time, pressure has mounted from families and others to improve this sector’s quality and expand its scope; as a result, many people now see after-school programs as a means for addressing social problems. For example, the federal government now spends $1 billion annually on after-school programs, primarily for at-risk youth. National and local charitable foundations, which were the first major funders of after-school programs, are still extremely active in helping communities improve and coordinate after-school care (Bodilly and Beckett, 2005).12 Taken together, these trends have helped shape an alternative delivery system for arts learning that previously did not exist.

At the local level, after-school arts programs are often housed within a large network of providers—some massive and districtwide, and some smaller and focused on specific populations. Two examples in Los Angeles help illustrate this range.

Beyond the Bell, a branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District, serves the district’s 700,000 students.13 It is an umbrella organization for about 25 separate programs, some of which reach as many as 500 schools. These programs have different content, intended age groups, and objectives. The arts-based programs, which represent 40 percent of Beyond the Bell’s “enrichment” offerings (which it distinguishes from its learning and tutoring programs), primarily focus on achieving various youth-development outcomes through artistic creation and performance.

The other example is LA’s Best, which falls loosely under the umbrella of Beyond the Bell but operates independently from offices in Los Angeles’s city hall.14 This model after-school program is a partnership between the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and philanthropic business leaders. It targets the neediest children—a requirement for eligibility for federal funds—and its programs are offered at no cost to participants. Starting in 1988 with 10 schools, LA’s Best now reaches 28,000 students in 189 schools. All students in the program get daily homework assistance plus instruction in mathematics and science, and in the past four years have been given a choice of sports or the arts as an elective.

The extensive network of programs created by LA’s Best provided an opportunity for the creation of the After-School Arts Program (ASAP) in 2003. This program offers 10-week arts classes that meet once a week for two hours and culminate in a performance or public exhibit.15 All teachers in this program, who are either teaching artists from the community or graduate students in fine arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), are required to create a standards-based curriculum. Some of the most important cultural institutions in Los Angeles (the Music Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for example) are partners in ASAP. This program’s outcomes have been evaluated, and ASAP is emerging as a model for other after-school arts programs across the country.

Amount and Reach of Instruction

We have no data on the amount of instruction or the number of K–12 children reached by after-school arts programs nationwide or statewide. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that nationally, in 2000, 59 percent of all children from 6 to 17 years old (or 28.4 million children) participated in one or more extracurricular programs, classified as sports, clubs, or lessons (Lugaila, 2003). It is impossible to tell what proportion of these 28.4 million children engage in arts programs. A few cities—notably Boston and New York—are committing substantial resources to mapping their after-school programming, identifying who is offering what to whom, providing more oversight for program development, and introducing standards for providers.16 But overall, after-school programming is so decentralized and lacking in data and research that it is difficult to characterize or evaluate (Bodilly and Beckett, 2005).

The Kentucky survey of arts education offers a rare glimpse of the reach of after-school arts programs in one state. As shown in Table 4.1, after-school music programs are available in 43 percent of all elementary schools in the state, and that proportion increases in the middle schools and high schools. Drama programs also become much more common at higher grades.17


Content of Instruction

Again, there are few data on the content of after-school arts programs. We know of some programs, such as Los Angeles’s ASAP, that are incorporating instruction that responds to each of the arts standards. By so doing, ASAP is more likely to serve broader aims, including the development of individuals with the skills to appreciate the arts. Most after-school arts programs have not been formally evaluated with respect to outcomes, however.18 And they probably will not lend themselves to evaluation, since they were not designed as proper objectives-based instructional programs. That is, they are not, according to Colwell (2005, p. 22), “coherent, sequential programs that, if well executed, will lead to valuable and expected outcomes.”

The scope and quality of instruction in after-school arts programs should improve as the after-school sector addresses a number of challenges. According to Wynn (2000, p. 4), these challenges include “the absence of a clear mandate regarding their primary function; the lack of program standards and substantial variation in program quality; a host of operations impediments related to facilities, staffing, administrative supports, and financing; and the need for identified outcomes and an attention to accountability for achieving them.” A growing body of research is highlighting the need for standards, evaluations, and the development of effective practices in this largely unregulated terrain (Pittman, Irby, and Ferber, 2000; Connell, Gambone, and Smith, 2000; Walker and Scott-Melnyk, 2002). Given these challenges, and the focus on youth-development outcomes, most arts-focused programs in the after-school sector are unlikely to build the knowledge and skills associated with long-term engagement in the arts.

Arts Learning in the Community

The other major institutional players in arts education are arts organizations, community service organizations, and community schools of the arts. Besides offering their own learning opportunities, many of these institutions also contribute to the K–12 public school system and after-school organizations. Unfortunately, the data and research on community-based arts learning are scant. The few studies done on this area tend to be case studies of exceptional programs. We discuss some of these to give an idea of how institutions other than schools are helping to develop individual capacity for aesthetic experiences with works of art. Note, however, that the nature of our sources biases our account in favor of individual programs that appear to be most effective. It also prevents us from providing an overview as we did in describing arts education in the K–12 system. We do not know, for example, how many such programs exist or how many children they are reaching. We can only estimate that the number of children is vastly smaller than the number reached through school-based arts education.

Arts Organizations

Arts organizations have been offering special programs to students for decades, in the schools, in the community, and in their own spaces. In the 1970s, when a large number of urban public schools lost a high proportion of their qualified arts teachers, many of their communities turned to resources offered by non-school organizations to help stem the disintegration of arts education. National foundations and federal arts policy encouraged this development—Coming to Our Senses: The Significance of the Arts for American Education, a 1977 report by the Arts, Education, and Americans Panel, led by David Rockefeller, proposed a national arts education policy founded on such collaborations— and initiated a flow of federal, state, and local funding to support it. Public and private funders established grant programs that created financial incentives for schools to form partnerships with arts organizations in their communities and to engage local artists in residencies. As funding from these sources expanded, more and more schools drew on these programs, and today’s arts organizations have an established place in the arts education landscape.

The best data on these programs are collected by the national service organizations for performing arts institutions. According to an annual survey conducted by the American Symphony Orchestra League (2006),19 for example, the great majority of educational performances in 2005 were offered to elementary school children: The combined programs of the 109 symphonies surveyed reached 400 elementary schools, 130 middle schools, and 66 high schools. The large to midsize orchestras have staffs of two to four in education and community relations, which are usually housed in one department. Theater companies, in contrast, aimed their education efforts primarily at adolescent audiences. Theatre Communications Group’s education survey for 2005 found that 55 percent of their members’ educational programs were geared to ages 12 to 18 years, 25 percent were geared to ages 5 to 11, and the rest were geared to adults of various ages. Student matinees were their most prevalent type of program, along with workshops and classes offered at the school, and residency programs (Renner, 2006).

Arts organizations are also involved in after-school and community programs based on sequential learning. Many symphony orchestras support youth orchestras. Many museums hold weekend workshops that instruct the young in creative activities in the visual arts. Theater companies may offer children’s classes, teen classes, summer programs and camps, and workshops and classes at community centers, as well as conservatory and professional training programs.Some dance ensembles work with community service organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs to offer workshops for students of various ages in order to develop basic dance vocabulary, self-confidence, and tolerance of diversity.

For many years, the established model for arts partnerships with schools was a service model: Schools contracted with an individual artist or arts organization for certain services, such as a performance or an artist residency, through a simple transaction (Rowe et al., 2004; Remer, 1996). In most schools, this is probably still the predominant model. Nearly every SAA provides an online roster of artists and ensembles available to help teachers and school administrators provide appropriate arts experiences for students during the school day. In the state of Washington, for example, 54 percent of public schools draw on external resources for their arts instruction, which typically consists of field trips or such in-school programs as artist residencies and assemblies provided by touring artists and cultural institutions. Of these external supports, 67 percent were characterized as “low-intensity arts episodes without teacher or curricular coordination” (Washington State Arts Commission, 2005, p. 21).

But in at least a few places, this model is changing. Some believe that field trips and in-school performances have a greater effect when students have the skills and knowledge needed to draw value from their experience. Some school districts around the country have been revamping their partnerships with artists and arts organizations so that the offerings are more integrated with existing curriculum. Instead of going with the traditional concert series offered by the local symphony, for example, district representatives may enter into discussions with the symphony and the museum to plan programs that are relevant to students at different grade levels and speak to issues raised by the curriculum. In many of these cases, districts purchase texts and teaching materials on instrumental music or the visual arts from arts organizations, which offer teachers workshops, often during summer, on how to use these materials to best effect (Dana Foundation, 2003).20

Some arts organizations contribute to arts learning by offering professional development to practicing teachers and to artists who work collaboratively with teachers. Sometimes they offer programs that help prepare teachers for certification, but more often they offer in-service training for teachers already in the classroom. For example, 68 percent of the 107 theater companies responding to the 2005 education survey conducted by the Theater Communications Group offer professional development programs for classroom teachers and teaching artists, and 79 percent offer both student assessment and program evaluation tools. However, survey respondents represent a small minority of theaters across the country, and their programs cannot be expected to reach many theater teachers.21

Performing Arts Centers. The trend toward greater integration of the arts experience with arts instruction is reflected in the growing number of performing arts centers that are offering K–12 students a range of arts study programs tied to their own presenting series. These centers’ educational mission often includes cultivating appreciation of the performing arts and making the arts an integral part of school and community life. A 2003 report by the Dana Foundation contains case studies of eight of these centers, along with profiles of 74 others, and describes the unique role of these centers in the arts education ecology. Some of the centers have been part of their communities for generations, but half of those profiled in the report—37 in all—were established after 1990, and another 17 were created between 1983 and 1990.

Although such centers cannot be expected to perform the same function as public schools, they are uniquely positioned to help young learners develop the knowledge and skills likely to enrich their experience of the performing arts. Part of the mission of performing arts centers is to develop a local citizenry that values the arts. They do this by offering classes on art-making that recognize different entry points for the young at many levels of experience, from the curious to the proficient. Many centers also provide performance space for school performances and student exhibits.

The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, in Burlington, Vermont, provides a good example of what these centers can do. In 2001–2002, the Flynn Center served 45,000 largely rural K–12 students with programs that went well beyond attendance at a single performance:

  • Workshops in the classroom before and after attendance at matinees “to help students prepare for, reflect on, and extend the performance experience” (Dana Foundation, 2003, p. 24). The workshops included study guides with background materials and relevant learning activities linked to Vermont’s arts content standards.
  • After-school workshops for teachers in specific art forms and in integrating arts into other subjects.
  • Several three-credit college courses per year for classroom teachers and arts specialists on such topics as “aesthetic education” and “bringing history, literature, and arts to life.” The courses used performances at the Flynn Center as texts and sometimes included interaction with performers.
  • Year-round classes in theater, dance, and music for people of all ages and levels of ability. These focused on topics related to the performing series, such as “jazz combo” and “singing solo jazz.”

Many performing arts centers and other arts organizations also develop artist residencies in partnership with school administrators and teachers to supplement the schools’ arts programs.22 According to the Dana Foundation, these residencies have been evolving away from the traditional model, in which the resident artist provides instruction or a performance independent of the classroom teacher, toward a more “symbiotic relationship” between the artist and classroom teacher. Resident artists are encouraged to “build teachers’ capacity to teach in, through, and about the arts” so that teachers will continue to make the arts part of their teaching once the residency is over (Dana Foundation, 2003, p. 12).23

Museums. Among arts organizations, museums have the longest history of commitment to education. But education became a more explicit part of the mission of art as well as non-art museums in the 1990s with the publication of Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums (Hirzy, 1992), an influential report issued by the American Association of Museums. The report proposed that museums embrace an ongoing education mission in order to develop audiences and draw more Americans from diverse backgrounds into engagement with museum exhibits. During the same period, public funders and private foundations used grants to encourage museums to offer educational programs and teacher training—and they required museums to report on visitor numbers and diversity as measures of the effectiveness of their strategies. As museums increased their commitment to education, they focused more on children, creating new positions for museum educators in areas such as development and oversight of educational programming, docent training, and education-related fundraising.

Art museums have supported the creation of learning tools and curricula to develop “critical viewers”—in other words, to help school children discover what is special about the works of art they encounter in the museums. Drawing on research documenting stages of aesthetic development from novice to expert (such as Parsons, 1987), museums have created educational strategies to encourage children, including very young children, to look closely at selected works of art and share their perceptions about those works with each other. Davis (2005, p. 141) describes one such learning tool, which entails asking viewers two questions: What’s going on in this picture? (to invite viewers’ sustained and focused attention to the work of art) and What do you see that makes you say that? (to encourage viewers to defend their perceptions in terms of the work’s elements).24 This learner- and inquiry-based approach is in contrast to the typical way that classroom teachers use museums, which is to draw connections between works of art and a topic (such as the American Revolution or the history of Rome) being studied in the classroom.

Community Centers

Community centers that offer arts education programs are another source of arts learning for the young. Often rooted in low-income and minority neighborhoods, these centers first emerged at the turn of the 20th century when grassroots activists sought to provide places where community residents could organize themselves and provide for each other’s needs (Davis et al., 1993). Although simple observation makes it clear that many community centers include arts programs along with literacy programs, social services, and health clinics, no national data are available on their numbers, their geographic dispersion, and the number of children participating in their programs.

We do know that at least some community centers focus exclusively on the arts. A 1993 study (Davis et al.) reviewed hundreds of centers around the country, choosing six exemplary programs as case studies. Most of the community centers in the broad sample were founded by artists, some well known—for example, dancer Katherine Dunham founded more than 60 dance schools in urban centers around the country, and jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean started a community arts center in North Hartford, Connecticut, to help combat the substance abuse plaguing the neighborhood (Missouri Historical Society, 2006; Davis et al., 1993). Most such centers are very small operations sustained by highly committed artist-directors and community volunteers, many of whom are parents. The objective for most of the programs is not to provide comprehensive arts learning but to offer a path to engagement with the world to low-income and minority children who are not succeeding in traditional schooling and are vulnerable to drug addiction and violence.25

Community Schools of the Arts

Community schools of the arts are nonprofit organizations whose mission, in part, is to improve access to instruction in the arts for members of the community, including many underserved groups. This component of the infrastructure for youth arts learning appears to be flourishing. Partially in response to cutbacks in arts education in the public schools, these community schools have proliferated in the past 25 years. According to the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, professional faculty in thousands of these schools are now instructing community members interested in learning more about the arts.26 About 370 of the schools are members of the Guild, serving more than 500,000 students with regular weekly instruction. These schools do not grant degrees and take one of two forms: Roughly 60 percent are independent institutions with complete control over their own operations; the other 40 percent are affiliated with other institutions.

We found that with a few exceptions—such as special magnet schools for the arts, private schools and conservatories that specialize in the arts, and a small group of general high schools—community schools of the arts offer the only rigorous, sequential curriculum in any arts discipline for the young (and the old). They all offer open access to instruction by professional faculty, who are predominantly professional performers or artists; and most of them offer courses in more than one discipline. A survey of Guild members in 2004–2005 found that 78 percent of these schools collaborate with public schools.

Community education in music is playing an increasingly important role as a pipeline that prepares talented youth for advanced undergraduate music programs (National Association of Schools of Music, 1991, p. 3): “Community education in music . . . has provided an institutional framework for young people with high musical aspirations; it has identified and developed talent, often without regard to the student’s financial resources; it has introduced hundreds of thousands to the joys and rewards of serious music study. One result has been tremendous benefits to music in higher education.”

Access to and Amount of Arts Learning in the Community

The only data we found on the amount of instruction and number of people served by community organizations come from professional associations in the performing and visual arts and from the National Guild for Community Schools of the Arts. We have no way of estimating the size of other parts of the system, such as arts learning in community centers. What we do know is that the number of youth served by all these institutions appears to be small compared with the number reached by arts education in the public schools across the country. However, intensity of instruction and the opportunity for sequential arts instruction appear greater in community schools of the arts than in public schools. According to our data, the programs offered by community organizations are not typically designed to be comprehensive but, rather, to serve specific ends, primarily performance.

Content of Arts Learning in the Community

Arts learning opportunities in the community reflect all the major purposes of arts education that we mentioned earlier, in Chapter Three:

  • Historically, performing arts organizations focused on bringing high-quality performances to school-age children, a strategy more appropriately described as broadening access than as cultivating individual skills. However, that focus is shifting toward more educational content for students. Explicit learning objectives are being defined in collaboration with classroom teachers and school officials. Many of these programs are also designed to build the general classroom teacher’s capacity. Museums have paid special attention to the aesthetic development of the young by creating learning tools that help the young discover what is worth noticing in specific works of art.
  • Community service organizations often focus on non-arts outcomes, such as the healthy development of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Secondary goals for students may include learning about the cultural heritage of ethnic communities and developing proficiency as a creative artist.
  • Community schools of the arts focus on developing increasingly solid artistic skills through rigorous, sequential instruction primarily in creation and performance. These schools broaden access to such instruction for those who cannot afford private instruction or tuition payments, and they take pride in placing students in prestigious post-secondary programs in the arts.

Higher Education

The fourth key component of the support infrastructure for K–12 arts learning comprises colleges and universities, which serve a number of support functions, the most important being the professional education of those who teach the arts to K–12 students: arts specialists, performers who become private instructors, creators and performers who become teaching artists, and general classroom teachers. Like arts education within the K–12 public schools, the teacher pipeline for the arts exists within a vast, decentralized system and is subject to the same problems and reform efforts as the larger system. We describe that system, which provides for certification of all full-time teachers in public school, very broadly here. We also provide observations about how well the system prepares teachers to offer the kind of learning most effective in stimulating long-term involvement in the arts.

Structural Characteristics

There are approximately 1,200 programs in the United States that prepare K–12 teachers in all subject areas (Doyle, 1990). State requirements for teacher certification and licensure vary widely. Specific control over program content typically resides within the institution—with the art department, the college of education, the arts education program, or some combination of these—although it is usually limited to a significant degree by state departments of education through licensure requirements.27 The variations from one institution to another and from one state to another create a substantial range in program quality. In 2004, only about one-half of all teacher education programs in the country had documented that they meet the professional standards advocated by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (Kirby et al., 2006). 28 And except in the case of music programs, even fewer had documented that they meet the arts specialist teacher preparation requirements of the arts accrediting associations.29

The teacher education “system” is so decentralized and idiosyncratic that it has been relatively intractable to reform despite a long history of initiatives, many of which were supported by substantial external resources from businesses and national foundations. 30 Lee Shulman, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, states the problem clearly: “There is so much variation among all programs in visions of good teaching, standards for admission, rigor of subject matter preparation, what is taught and what is learned, character of supervised clinical experience, and quality of evaluation that, compared to any other academic profession, the sense of chaos is inescapable” (Shulman, 2005).

Preparation for General Classroom Teachers Versus Arts Specialists

Candidates for elementary education credentials typically major in education as undergraduates, sometimes with a teaching major in an academic discipline or two teaching minors. According to a 2002 report, however, over 58 percent of elementary teachers had studied only education, with no specialization in any academic subject area. Another 18 percent were education majors with subject area specializations (Seastrom et al., 2002). There is some evidence that those studying to become general classroom elementary teachers may not be required to take even a single course in the arts (Chapman, 1982a).31 Some institutions cover arts education in the general methods courses required for elementary education majors (Champlin, 1997).

Given the limits of this preparation, it is unrealistic to expect general classroom teachers to be the primary providers of standards-based arts instruction in all four arts disciplines (Woodworth et al., 2007; Carey et al., 1995). Chapman argues (1982a, p. 151) that a student is more likely to be misinformed rather than gain solid knowledge about art through teachers who are responsible for teaching art to the young but have not studied art. And she writes (Chapman, 2005, p. 133): “The majority of classroom teachers are not prepared to offer standards-based instruction and not receiving professional development activities that inform them (even minimally) of expectations for learning in art.”32 The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are few published curricula and standards-based texts in the arts compared with other subject areas. Classroom teachers are often expected to single-handedly create their own arts curricula while teaching full time (Chapman, 1982a; Kowalchuk and Stone, 2000).

People who become arts specialists, on the other hand, complete an extensive curriculum in their artistic discipline. As in all subject areas, programs vary from one institution to another. Some institutions offer five-year, integrated bachelor of arts/master of teaching programs that provide teaching certification as well; others offer a one- or two-year certification program post-baccalaureate. Candidates for secondary education credentials usually complete a major in one of the arts disciplines.

Additionally, most colleges have developed what are called alternative certification programs in the arts, which prepare mid-career professionals to become teachers (Berry, 2001). These programs are increasing in response to current teacher shortages in many subjects in both urban and rural school districts (Hussar, 2001). They range from emergency certification to well-designed professional programs that appeal to the growing number of people who already have college degrees, as well as a good deal of life experience, and want to become teachers.33

There are almost no reliable data on the number of programs preparing teachers in the various arts, the number of teachers receiving their certificates, the content of these programs, and the backgrounds of faculty teaching in those programs.34 Information on the content of teacher preparation programs is also scarce. Most arts specialist candidates receive instruction from education faculty, arts education faculty (who in smaller colleges are often adjunct or part time), and faculty in the arts and sciences. A 1998 survey of 177 college programs for visual arts specialists in the United States and Canada found “fairly consistent” courses of study across master’s programs, which comprised arts education theory and practice, research methods, aesthetics, psychology, general education, and studio course work, with studio courses still the center of the curriculum in most cases. The survey also found that despite a wide variety of emphases in these programs, the artist-teacher and discipline-based arts education orientations were the most dominant (Anderson, Eisner, and McRorie, 1998). Other studies suggest that studio practice is still by far the most prevalent component of most programs (Day, 1997; Galbraith, 1997; Willis-Fisher, 1993), and teachers are not receiving the broad-based preparation they need to teach to the arts standards.35 There is some evidence that the one or two methods courses required for arts education degrees are incorporating art history, art criticism, and aesthetics, as well as the multiple methodological topics required (Champlin, 1997; Galbraith, 1995).

An emphasis on artistic performance also pervades music education programs. According to Colwell (2005, p. 27), it is commonly assumed that all music departments should resemble those of a conservatory, “with the quality of the programs judged by performances of the orchestra and chorus.” Other observers have made the same point: The focus of many music education programs is not teaching ability or educational knowledge, but perceived level of performing expertise (Woodford, 2005; Detels, 1999; Colwell, 2005). Performance skills are highly developed in most music education programs, but there is little evidence that the prevailing curriculum is teaching skills in musical perception for the general music student, a situation Schwadron complained of in 1988 (p. 90).36

National teacher education standards have been created in the various artistic disciplines for use in state teacher licensing systems, and the latest revisions align with the national arts content standards. But as of 2001, only 11 states had revised their teacher certification for arts teachers to align with state standards specific to the arts (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2001).37 National professional associations of teachers in the various arts have challenged campus leaders to become more engaged in improving the quality of teacher education (Consortium of National Arts Education Associations; International Council of Fine Arts Deans; Council of Arts Accrediting Associations, 2001). If comprehensive arts education is to be delivered equitably to public school students, there will have to be policy change on many fronts, including efforts to broaden the preparation of arts specialists.38

Other Roles of Higher Education

We have focused on the professional education of teachers for K–12 students, but some colleges and universities also work closely with the public schools in their communities to enhance arts education in other ways. The seven Claremont Colleges in southern California, for instance, have a partnership with all 12 schools in the Claremont Unified School District that

  • provides staff development to the district’s arts teachers
  • allows teachers to take arts courses at the colleges at no cost
  • permits high school students to take arts classes at the colleges at reduced cost
  • sends college arts students to intern in elementary school classrooms
  • invites students of all grade levels to attend art exhibits, musical performances, and theater productions at the colleges free of charge
  • permits public school theater productions to be held at college theaters
  • provides access to libraries, art collections, and other arts resources to all district teachers.

This example shows how higher education institutions are able to bolster the arts education capacity of the K–12 school districts in their communities. In the next chapter, we describe how these institutions also provide their own students with the most comprehensive arts education available. Communities such as Claremont, by tapping university resources for K–12 and after-school programs, have been able to surmount some of the weaknesses of the public school system.

Summary: Performance of the Infrastructure for Youth Arts Learning

Overall, the institutional infrastructure for supporting youth arts learning is weak. In the nation’s elementary schools, education in music and art tends to be spotty, casual, and brief; and instruction in drama and dance is even more limited. There is on average one hour of instruction per week in music and visual arts, which does not compare favorably with the instruction time for other subjects. Although arts standards are in place, state, local, and district policies are not providing the resources or time in the school day to implement sequential arts instruction—nor are states holding schools accountable for demonstrating student progress with respect to the standards. Finally, in elementary schools, general classroom teachers cannot be expected to be the primary providers of standards-based arts instruction in all four arts disciplines, especially when they are supported by few published curricula or standards-based texts. These conditions do not support quality instruction.

Beyond elementary school, arts education has limited reach and scope. In high school, qualified arts specialists offer arts instruction but reach only the small proportion of students who choose to take arts classes. The best of these programs introduce students to creative performance and develop their appreciation of skilled masters in the art form. Some programs, however, focus narrowly on the development of technical skills. Very few courses in middle or high school offer comprehensive arts education or arts appreciation for students not interested in performance.

Other parts of the institutional support infrastructure offer important elements of arts learning that can supplement school-based programs but cannot be expected to offer comprehensive arts learning. The after-school component of the infrastructure, for example, is expanding rapidly and becoming an increasingly important delivery system for arts programming for children. One of the values of this component is that it reaches children not being exposed to the arts through their school or family. Because of the particular power of the arts to engage children regardless of their language skills or academic performance, public and private funders have long focused on the spread of after-school programs, which offer the opportunities for disadvantaged youth to find pleasure, learn self-discipline, and develop relationships with artist mentors and role models.

Community service organizations and community schools of the arts serve a similar function. Some go beyond the isolated and often short-term after-school program to offer more discipline-based, sequential arts study for students who want to achieve greater mastery in creative practice. Because the programs of community schools of the arts are more rigorous and sustained than those of the many public schools that have neither the resources nor the time in the school day for sequential arts education programs, the benefits for the children are likely to be stronger and more long term.39 These institutions also help democratize the arts by serving not only people of all ability levels, but also people who are unable to pay tuition.

Many arts institutions have partnered with schools over the past several decades, a trend encouraged by federal and state arts policy in response to the decline of formal arts instruction in the schools. Although the focus has been predominantly on providing arts experiences rather than arts learning, the most exemplary programs have embedded the arts encounter within an instructional program that gives school-age children tools for appreciating the work of art and encourages reflection and discourse afterward. Our analysis suggests that this shift in focus toward arts learning and away from isolated exposures to artworks—a shift that has been supported by both public and private funders—is more likely to develop the aesthetic capacity of the young.

On the subject of higher education’s role in producing those who are to teach the arts to K–12 students, we see a sharp distinction between programs that prepare general classroom teachers and those that prepare arts specialists. Preparation of arts specialists is generally robust, if somewhat overspecialized, and the estimated 200,000 arts specialists across the country are among the most highly trained teachers in public schools. Preparation of general classroom teachers, however, is regarded by many as the weakest link in the K–12 education system. This is a problem that goes well beyond the scope of our study. Nonetheless, it underscores the disconnect between the expectations embodied in the state arts standards for elementary school instruction and the fact that few elementary school teachers are educated in the arts.

Twenty years ago, the NEA described K–12 arts education in this way (1988, p. 67):

In general, arts education in America is characterized by imbalance, inconsistency, and inaccessibility. There is a curricular imbalance in the relationship between the study of art and the performance and creation of art. There is inconsistency in the arts education students receive in various parts of the country, in different school districts within states, in different schools within school systems, and even in classrooms within schools. Because of the pressures on the school day, a comprehensive and sequential arts education is inaccessible except to a very few and often only to those with talent or a special interest.

Nothing we found in this analysis suggests that this state of affairs has improved. The growth in community arts learning is new and promising, but it cannot compensate for the weaknesses that exist in K–12 arts education—the only part of the infrastructure with the potential to draw large numbers of young people into engagement with the arts.

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1 We focus on the institutional level rather than specific programs or individuals. We do not describe arts learning provided in the home or by individual private instructors, for which we have no data.

2. One component of this funding and policy support structure for arts learning, the SAA, is discussed in Chapter Six.

3. See, for example, Washington State Arts Commission, n.d.

4. As of this writing, only one state, Kentucky, has a state-level arts assessment. Eight states require district-level arts assessments (Education Commission of the States, 2005).

5. In a recent national survey of elementary and secondary principals, the overwhelming majority cited insufficient funding as the most intractable problem in providing arts education, a challenge that is even more acute for low-income and high-minority schools (von Zastrow and Janc, 2004).

6. The surveyed states are Illinois, Kentucky, Washington, California, New Jersey, and West Virginia. See Illinois Arts Alliance, 2006; Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, 2005; Washington State Arts Commission, 2006; Woodworth et al., 2007; New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, 2007b; and Appalachian Education Initiative, 2006.

7. These are our calculations using data on students in grades 1 through 4 from Morton and Dalton (2007) but based on the 40-week school year assumed by Carey et al. (2002).

8. Only 25 percent of students in California’s low-income schools receive music instruction, compared with 45 percent in the state’s affluent schools. The comparable numbers for the visual arts are 29 versus 49 percent; for theater, 8 versus 17 percent; for dance, 7 versus 17 percent (Woodworth et al., 2007, p. 13).

9. However, the New Jersey survey found no connection between schools’ arts education offerings and the surrounding community’s income levels.

10. The West Virginia survey, however, shows that a high proportion of middle school students take both music and visual arts.

11. These are often referred to in the field as out-of-school-time (OST) programs. In this report, the term after-school programs means all school-based programs that take place before and after school and on weekends. Our definition does not include after-school activities not organized with the help of schools or government agencies and not receiving public or private charitable funding (for example, private piano lessons).

12. Bodilly and Beckett (2005) provide an informative description of the evolution of OST programs over the past 30 years.

13. See Beyond the Bell, n.d.

14. See LA’s Best, n.d.

15. Although each program consists of only 20 hours of instruction, it is frequently the only instruction in the arts that these children receive. For children who receive arts instruction in school, this 10-week program nearly doubles the average number of hours of arts instruction they get for the year.

16. Boston, for example, has been recognized as leading the nation in serving the after-school needs of children 6 to 12 years of age. Boston’s After-School for All partnership, a public-private initiative of 15 philanthropic, educational, and business organizations and government agencies, has committed more than $26 million over five years to expand and improve the after-school sector (Boston After School and Beyond, n.d.; Bodilly and Augustine, 2008).

17. Kentucky’s after-school arts activities are taught by certified or licensed arts teachers (36 percent), noncertified teachers (16 percent), artists (19 percent), and volunteers (33 percent).

18. We base this statement on our survey of the literature and conversations with arts and education policymakers.

19. The league changed its name to the League of American Orchestras in fall 2007.

20. For an account of the evolution of arts partnerships and the challenges they face in not only surviving but thriving over time, see Seidel, Eppel, and Martiniello, 2001.

21. Only 107 of 460 members of the Theater Communications Group responded to the survey, and there were approximately 1,490 nonprofit theaters in the United States in 2005 (as reported by the Theater Communications Group from Internal Revenue Service data).

22. According to a national survey, 38 percent of public elementary schools hosted at least one short-term artist residency program during the 1998–1999 school year, and 22 percent hosted at least one longer residency. For public secondary schools, these figures, at 34 percent and 22 percent, respectively, were slightly lower (Carey et al., 2002, pp. 5, 37). SAAs are important funders of artist residencies.

23. Note that most artist residencies consist of contracts between independent artists and schools, with no connection to performing arts centers or other arts organizations. See Chapter Six for more on artist residency programs.

24. This approach was created by Phillip Yenawine, director of education at The Museum of Modern Art, and Abigail Housen, a researcher in aesthetics, who instituted new museum programs to appeal to both teachers and students having very little experience looking at art. The museum’s traditional educational programs, by contrast, were designed for museum visitors having considerable viewing experience (Housen and Duke, 1998). Yenawine and Housen’s work has evolved into an elementary school curriculum (see Visual Understanding in Education, 2001).

25. Survey findings reported by Davis et al. (1993) reveal that these programs have five types of objectives, ranging in priority from highest to lowest as follows: personal and interpersonal goals, such as “a sense of mattering,” and respect for others; cognitive goals, such as learning how to learn; multicultural/culture-specific goals, such as increasing awareness of heritage art forms from African American, Latino, and Chinese communities; community goals, such as cultivating a strong community within the center and improving the community outside the center; and professional goals, such as teaching artistic and entrepreneurial skills relevant to a career in the arts (summarized in Davis, 2005).

26. Much of the material for this section was provided by Jonathan Herman, executive director of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. For information related to our discussion here, see National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, n.d. For a history of the movement behind the community schools of the arts and the Guild in particular, see Evans and Klein, 1992.

27. Certification is earned when a candidate meets all the course requirements of his or her teacher education program. Licensure is issued by the state after a teacher candidate completes certification, state teacher examinations, and probationary periods of teaching. For a detailed review of the wide disparity in certification and licensure policies for arts education across states, see DiBlasio, 1997.

28. In 2004, that number was 588 institutions. Also see the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education’s 2004 report NCATE at 50: Continuous Growth, Renewal, and Reform.

29. Correspondence with Samuel Hope, executive director of the National Office for Arts Accreditation.

30. For a useful summary of the seven most important reforms of the past 20 years (most of which fall within the past 10 years), see Kirby et al., 2006, particularly Chapter Two.

31. Chapman claimed this was true of 26 states in 1982, and we were unable to find more-recent data. The Arts Education Partnership’s Arts Education State Policy Survey collects information on requirements for licensure in each arts discipline but does not indicate whether these requirements are aligned with state standards (Arts Education Partnership, “Licensure for Arts Teachers,” n.d.).

32. In a review of the status of elementary art education from 1997 to 2004, Chapman (2005, p. 130) points to survey results (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2002, pp. 80–81) showing that 71 percent of classroom teachers do not offer instruction aligned with the standards—and this is despite the fact that 90 percent of the teachers reported participating in standards-based professional development in the previous 12 months.

33. Advertisements in music journals, for example, provide evidence of a growing number of options for obtaining teacher certification in music. In one ad, Arizona State University describes a new program to accommodate a greater number of applicants: They no longer have to have a B.A. in theater education but can become certified strictly through their master’s program (Colwell, 2005, p. 27). There is also some evidence that alternative programs attract more minorities and more men into teaching and help fill positions in schools and areas with critical shortages of teachers (Mikulecky, Shkodriani, and Wilner, 2004).

34. Galbraith and Grauer (2004) provide a useful overview of research on teacher education in the visual arts.

35. Based on a representative survey of state-approved undergraduate education programs in the visual arts, Willis-Fisher (1993) found that students take 36 hours of studio course work, on average, compared to nine hours of art history. Other studies have found that a range of studio courses—in painting, ceramics, printmaking, and digital imagery, for example—form the mainstay of instruction (Rogers and Brogdon, 1990; Sevigny, 1987). Many of the smaller institutions awarding such degrees do not have expertise in aesthetics or art criticism.

36. The overemphasis on specialization at the expense of comprehensiveness is, of course, hardly unique to teacher education programs in the arts.

37. As of this writing, no newer data have been synthesized on this issue. The Arts Education Partnership State Policy Survey collects information from arts education personnel within state education agencies about state certification of arts specialists in all the arts disciplines, but it is not clear from this database what guidelines are used for revising requirements for licensure. For the latest survey results, see Arts Education Partnership, 2006–2007.

38. For a useful discussion of what it would take to make this happen for visual arts teachers, see Day, 1997..

39. For analysis of the relationship between benefits and length of involvement in arts learning, see McCarthy et al., 2004.