Arts Education in the Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Community Trust

Reviewed by Deena Epstein, The George Gund Foundation

2002, 8-page executive summary. The Chicago Community Trust, 111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1400, Chicago, Illinois 60601, (312) 372-3356

The Chicago Community Trust, interested in making its arts education grantmaking more focused and effective, decided to get a clearer picture of what was happening in the Chicago Public Schools and in the process created a methodology and reporting format that could easily be adapted for use in other communities.

An eight-page executive summary of Arts Education in the Chicago Public Schools succinctly explains the results from surveys sent to principals of the 569 grade and high schools in the city as well as to more than 140 outside organizations serving as arts educa- tion providers. It also explains the process used to gather the information.

The report examines things such as the minutes per week of arts offered in each school, exposure to different artistic disciplines, the number of schools with arts specialists, perform- ance opportunities available to students, and programs offered by outside providers.

The report concludes that "what was once a barren landscape in the public schools system is now a field covered with arts programs," but finds the distribution and depth of those programs to be quite "uneven" with some schools still offering no arts education at all. The Trust has created an arts education policy task force that will use results from the survey to guide its work.

Deena Epstein, The George Gund Foundation