2008 Study of Arts Education in Colorado Public Schools

The Arts, Creative Learning & Student Achievement

Published in: GIA Reader, Vol 20, No 1 (Spring 2009)

Colorado Council on the Arts

2008, 49 pages. Colorado Council on the Arts, 1625 Broadway, Suite 2700, Denver, CO, 80202, 303-892-3802, www.coloarts.org

http://www.coloarts.org/programs/education/study/Colorado Arts Ed Study Statistical Report Final.pdf

This report provides new data revealing that Colorado public high schools that offer more arts education have higher scores on tests in reading, writing and science—regardless of student ethnicity or socioeconomic status. They also have lower dropout rates. A first-of-its-kind study of arts education in public schools shows that while most schools offer some formal arts education to a majority of students, an estimated 29,000 students attend Colorado public schools that do not offer any formal arts education.

At a time when employers are demanding a more creative work force, 53 percent of high school students are not taking any arts courses.
Offering the arts is a choice for many public schools in Colorado. School leaders say time is the biggest barrier to providing more in-depth arts education to hone in-demand work force skills such as imagination, creativity and innovation.

Work is under way to increase access to arts education in Colorado's public schools. A team led by Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien and Commissioner of Education Dwight Jones has begun a review of standards and assessments for arts education. The committee is also looking into professional development opportunities for educators who want to integrate arts into core subject areas.

The reader-friendly report includes tips on ways that parents, educators, policymakers and leaders of arts organizations can help.