Transforming Education Through the Arts Challenge

Final Project Report

The National Arts Education Consortium

2003, 79 pages. Department of Art Education, Ohio State University, 128 North Oval Mall, Room 258, Columbus, OH 43210, 614-292-5649

This final report on Transforming Education Through the Arts Challenge (TETAC) is more than a compilation of the results of a five-year initiative to link comprehensive approaches to arts education with national and local school reform efforts.

The report also provides a summary of the "arts as a discipline" movement in arts education and puts the TETAC project into this historical context while at the same time offering an honest look at how a project, initially conceived as building on the shared experiences of six participants in a formal Discipline Based Arts Education (DBAE) program, changed focus over time.

TETAC was launched in 1996 as a joint effort of the Annenberg Foundation, which focuses on school reform, and the J. Paul Getty Trust's Getty Education Institute for the Arts. Its aim was to look at how arts could be infused in the core curriculum of the nation's schools. Six regional organizations — one each in California, Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas — formed the National Arts Education Consortium and became part of TETAC. All had been part of Getty's earlier DBAE program. Through TETAC each organization worked with five or six schools in its region to develop and test what was called a Comprehensive Arts Education (CAE) program.

The report highlights the curriculum, capacity-building, and evaluation components of the project but does not shy away from the philosophical challenges that emerged as it became clear that Getty and Annenberg had different visions of what the project's goals and accomplishments should be. Graphs, charts, and illustrations make data, findings, and conclusions from the five-year project quite accessible.

The report also contains a “lessons learned” section, both on advancing the arts in the regular school curriculum and on administering a national school reform initiative in the arts, that should be helpful to foundations considering efforts in this field.

Deena Epstein, The George Gund Foundation