ARTS ACHIEVE: Impacting Student Success in the Arts was a large-scale arts assessment research project undertaken in 2010-2015 by Studio in a School (Studio) and the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP). Conducted in close to 80 schools, the project touched thousands of students and provided intensive supports to 45 arts teachers.

What are the goals of ARTS ACHIEVE?

  • Improve student achievement in the arts. 
  • Enhance teacher practice.
  • Integrate technology into the classroom.

How is ARTS ACHIEVE funded?

ARTS ACHIEVE was created by two United States Department of Education grants:

  • Investing in Innovation (i3) grant awarded to Studio in a School
  • Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant awarded to the OASP

Who are the ARTS ACHIEVE partners?

Studio in a School, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects, led a consortium of 5 NYC cultural and educational organizations:

Metis Associates was the research design, data analysis, and project evaluation partner.

Work in each discipline was managed by discipline co-chairs, who were comprised of a representative from a discipline’s respective cultural organization and that discipline’s NYCDOE Director.

How long did ARTS ACHIEVE last?

ARTS ACHIEVE is a five year project that lasted from 20102015.

  • Year One: Pilot and development. Partners create and pilot the Arts Performance Assessments.
  • Years Two through Four: Implementation. Arts Performance Assessments were administered in Treatment and Control schools. Treatment Schools receive supports from ARTS ACHIEVE.
  • Year Five: Dissemination. Results are calculated and shared.

What are the ARTS ACHIEVE Arts Performance Assessments?

Prior to implementation in the schools, the ARTS ACHIEVE partners developed arts performance assessments. The arts performance assessments align with the Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, which measure what students should know, understand, and be able to do in fifth grade, middle school, and high school. Teachers examine pre- and post-data to note gaps in student learning. 

The assessments, which were created for fifth grade, middle school, and high school, provided the participating arts teachers with pre- and post-data about their students’ arts knowledge and skills. This data would reveal gaps in student learning that would inform instruction going forward.

For more, see: Performance Assessments

What were the criteria for school participation?

78 high-needs schools were selected from a pool of volunteers to participate in ARTS ACHIEVE. Half of the selected schools were randomly assigned as treatment and the remainder assigned as control. In order to participate, schools had to meet the following criteria:

  • Elementary School
    •  Offers a minimum of 30 arts instructional hours in at least one art form to grades 35
    • Has at least one arts-certified teacher (full or parttime) or cluster teacher assigned to the arts
  • Middle School
    • Offers at least one fullyear of instruction in at least one art form in grades 7 or 8
    • Has at least one arts-certified teacher (full or parttime) assigned to the arts
  • High School
    • Offers at least one fullyear of instruction in at least one art form in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12
    • Has at least one arts-certified teacher (full or parttime) assigned to the arts

What supports did Treatment Schools receive?

Treatment schools received data from Fall and Spring Arts Performance Assessments.

Each Treatment site was also assigned a facilitator from their discipline’s partner organization, who partnered with the school’s arts teacher. Teachers at Treatment sites participated in at least four professional development training sessions each year. These sessions focused on the use of formative/summative assessment strategies and the integration of technology. 

In addition, teachers engaged in inter-visitations, during which they observed colleagues from within their professional learning community (colleagues teaching in the same arts discipline and at the same grade level), discussed student work, and shared best practices.

Treatment teachers were provided with iPads for themselves and students to use as tools. ARTS ACHIEVE partners also set up an ARTS ACHIEVE social networking site through Ning. A dropbox account allowed teachers, facilitators, and the ARTS ACHIEVE partners to share files with each other.

For more, see Balanced Assessment and In the Classroom.

What supports did Control Schools receive?

Treatment and Control Schools employed the same Fall and Spring Arts Performance Assessments and received the data. Control Schools received no other supports from ARTS ACHIEVE. This allowed the ARTS ACHIEVE team to measure the project strategies’ effectiveness.

What is a facilitator and what are their responsibilities?

During the planning year 92Y/DEL, Weill Music Institute, ArtsConnection, and Studio each enlisted a cohort of their teaching artists to work with the Treatment schools. The teaching artists acted as ‘facilitators,’ supporting their partner teachers as a critical friend. This could take several forms, including:

  • Observing and providing feedback
  • Serving as a sounding board
  • Helping with technology or classroom management
  • Collaborating on lesson or curriculum planning
  • Assisting the teacher in interpreting data
  • Posing questions to help teachers clarify goals
  • Modeling an instructional strategy when invited to do so

For more, see Facilitator Role.

What is the role of technology in ARTS ACHIEVE?

A key goal of ARTS ACHIEVE was to increase the use of technology in classrooms. ARTS ACHIEVE provided Treatment schools with iPads for teachers and students to use as tools. Students used the iPads in a variety of ways, especially for engaging in formative assessment, accessing masterworks, and research. They also used the iPads to create, share, and document their work. Teachers and facilitators used the iPads for these purposes, as well as for demonstration and collecting student work. Ning (a social networking site) and Dropbox (a file-sharing service) allowed teachers, facilitators, and the ARTS ACHIEVE team to share files and best practices.

For more, see Integrating Technology.

Where can I view the Arts Performance Assessments?

You can download examples of the Arts Performance Assessments for each grade level and discipline here.

Where can I download the full ARTS ACHIEVE report?

You can download the full report by clicking here.

Where can I direct further questions?

You can direct questions to our Contact page.