Thanks to the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) for sharing a link to a compelling new report published by the National Endowment for the Arts: “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies.”
The report is an essential read for anyone working to secure arts funding or close the academic achievement gap.
It compares outcomes for almost 72,000 U.S. children and teenagers gathered between 1988 and 2012, with a focus on low-income students.
Use it to show your constituents the power of the arts to transform lives. It demonstrates that arts involvement can be a critical factor in whether low-income students graduate from high school, attend college and become active in the community.
Among the findings:
- Low-income students with few or no high school arts credits were five times less likely to have graduated than students earning many arts credits.
- 39% of low-income students who had high arts involvement attended a four-year college after graduation, compared with 17% who had little or no arts involvement.
- Mean GPAs were 2.94 among low-income students with high arts involvement, compared with 2.55 for students with low arts involvement.
- Eighth-graders who had high levels of arts involvement from kindergarten through elementary school had significantly higher test scores in science and writing than students who had lower levels of arts involvement over the same period.
High-stakes testing and cuts to education funding have resulted in the disappearance of the arts from many schools, particularly those that serve low-income learners.
Rather than eliminate the arts, we should harness their power to help students who need it most. This report is an important tool to move the case for increased school arts funding forward.
The report is online at: http://www.nea.gov/research/Arts-At-Risk-Youth.pdf
Thank you to Margaret Rog, MRAC Board Chair, for her report summary from MRAC’s June e-newsletter.
-Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate