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The Role of the Arts in a High Stakes Testing Environment. How do we use the Arts to meet the mandates of NCLB?. The Marconi Story. 98% Free & Reduced lunch rate Community with the highest crime rate in the city of Chicago Approximately 400 students in grades Pre-K – 8

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the role of the arts in a high stakes testing environment

The Role of the Arts in a High Stakes Testing Environment

How do we use the Arts to meet the mandates of NCLB?

the marconi story
The Marconi Story
  • 98% Free & Reduced lunch rate
  • Community with the highest crime rate in the city of Chicago
  • Approximately 400 students in grades Pre-K – 8
  • Fine and Performing Arts School
  • Prior to 2005, only 22% of students met state standards.
reasons for the change
Reasons for the Change
  • Marconi was Fine Arts School that never really lived up to its mission. There was never a focus on Fine Arts.
  • Student achievement was suffering tremendously.
  • The research continues to show that Fine Arts increases academic achievement.
my requirements for a teacher
My requirements for a teacher
  • Passionate
  • Knowledgeable about subject area
  • An unwavering belief in children and their ability to learn and behave appropriately
  • Accepts responsibility for his/her actions.
strategic planning how we did it
Strategic Planning(How we did it!)
  • Include Fine and Performing Arts in the school’s Mission and Vision statements
  • Review most current academic performance data
  • Identify areas where Fine and Performing Arts can be integrated
  • Create a list of ways that the Arts teacher can be used during instructional time (team-teaching, small groups)
  • Create a list of professional development activities needed for Arts teachers and academic teachers
  • Create a schedule that allows for maximum integration
  • Allow time for Arts teachers and academic teachers to plan
utilizing the arts teacher in the classroom
Utilizing the Arts Teacher in the Classroom
  • Team Teach
  • Arts teacher presents lesson
  • Arts teacher works with small group of students in the classroom
  • Arts teacher meets with student group a second time to do Arts related activities
the plan
The Plan
  • Art, Drama, Computer, and PE teachers will be integrated in academic classrooms for two hours during reading. They will spend an hour in two different classes. During the academic teacher’s prep time, the Arts teachers will see the same classes that they worked with during reading.
  • The schedule will rotate every 10 weeks. Students will get one prep for 10 consecutive weeks. This will allow for continuity and completion of projects.
  • Arts and academic teachers will be paid to plan after school for one hour every week.
  • Daily assessment and data analysis will be done collaboratively.
  • Arts and academic teachers will be present for all professional development.
  • Arts teachers will conduct professional development related to reading and math.
  • Assemblies will be led by the Arts teachers in collaboration with academic teachers.
  • Arts teachers will use their arts skill to teach reading comprehension skills
  • Academic teachers were not interested in team teaching.
  • Academic teachers would give Arts teachers the lowest groups of students to work with in the classroom.
  • In some cases, Arts teachers were given small groups of students to work with in a separate classroom.
  • Some teachers refused to plan after school.
  • Some teachers still felt as if they would lose class time if they focused on the Arts in any way.
arts integrated classroom data
Arts’ Integrated Classroom Data
  • These teachers maximized the use of the Arts in their classrooms (collaborative planning, team teaching).
  • Over 50% of the students in each of these classrooms met standards in Reading and Math.
  • Each of these classrooms had an external partner that enriched the arts integration.
projects that increased academic achievement
Projects that Increased Academic Achievement
  • Entire school benefited from the professional development presented by the Arts teachers on building vocabulary using Marzano’s. In this presentation, the drama teacher showed how to extract vocabulary from an article and help students understand it in context. Art teacher showed how to visually represent the word. Both teachers showed how to create vocabulary books.
  • 3rd grade teacher and Art teacher did a unit on shapes (organic and geometric).
  • Drama teacher worked with upper cycle students on dialogue and voice using plays.
  • Drama teacher cut up stories and had 3rd grade students put the sentences in the correct order (sequencing and ordering).
  • Art teacher worked with 8th grade students on Haikus. Students were given a picture of a landscape and asked to write a Haiku describing what they observed in the picture.
to satisfy nclb testing
To Satisfy NCLB Testing
  • 71% of schools reduced instructional time in at least one other subject.

-33% cut social studies

-29% cut science

-22% cut art and music

-14% cut physical education

(ASCD Compact for Learning, p. 8)

what does the research say
What does the research say?

Young people who participate in the arts are:

  • 4 times more likely
  • to be recognized for academic achievement
  • to participate in a math and science fair
  • to win an award for writing
  • 3 times more likely
  • to be elected to class office
  • to win an award for school attendance
benefits of an arts education
Benefits of an Arts Education
  • Relationship between arts involvement and better grades/improved standardized test performance (Catterall, 2002)
  • Relationship betweeen arts-integrated instruction and improvement in reading and math for students in grades 3-5 (Ingram and Seashore, 2002)
  • Increased motivation including better attendance and educational aspirations (Critical Links, 2006)
  • Helps reach students who are disengaged from school and helps them connect with peers (Fiske, 1999)
sat scores of students who study the arts
SAT Scores of Students Who Study the Arts
  • Students who take arts classes have higher math, verbal, and composite SAT scores than students who take no arts courses.
  • The more years of arts classes, the higher the SAT scores.
  • The strongest relationship was found with students who take four or more years of arts classes.
creative drama enhances reading comprehension skills
Creative Drama Enhances Reading Comprehension Skills
  • Students who engage in a 6-week course of literature-based creative drama show significantly greater gains in story comprehension.
  • Skills gained through drama transferred to comprehending literature not presented as part of the program.
  • Children involved in integrating drama with reading are also better able to comprehend what they have read but do not act out, such as the written scenarios they encounter on standardized tests.

Dupont, 1992

arts centered schools have
Arts Centered Schools Have:
  • Fewer dropouts
  • Higher attendance
  • Better team players
  • Increased love of learning
  • Greater student dignity
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Citizens better prepared for the workplace with greater cultural awareness
characteristics of a successful school
Characteristics of a Successful School
  • Vision
  • Leadership
  • High Academic Standards
  • Character Standards
  • Arts Integration
  • Professional Development
  • Evidence of Success
  • A good vision is like a good road map. Without a good map, it is difficult to determine where you are going and impossible to know when you arrive.
  • Successful schools have a clearly defined vision for the improvement of learning
  • The vision is accompanied by strategic planning
  • A good vision links education standards to teacher expectations and student performance
  • A good vision engages the entire learning community to take responsibility for student learning
  • A vision should embrace the dual mission of creating in each student solid academic achievement and moral character development

Successful leaders….

  • Demonstrate flexibility in dealing with change
  • Make decisions based on the most positive results for students
  • Analyze data from multiple sources and use it to inform decisions
  • Uses a blend of top-down and bottom-up decision making processes
  • Inspires, persuades, and influences others by their own actions and attitudes
  • Maintains a focus on the possibilities and opportunities rather than the barriers
high academic standards
High Academic Standards

Successful schools…..

  • Expect all students will achieve at all levels
  • Establish measurable performance indicators and benchmarks for all students
  • Emphasize conceptual understanding and the application of knowledge, skills, and processes
  • Communicate learning expectations to students and parents
character standards
Character Standards

Successful Schools have character standards that…..

  • Help students learn and model a core set of values such as respect, honesty, courage, and responsibility
  • Create a positive school climate free of bullying and harassment
  • Honor the traditions and contributions of all family and community members in the learning community
  • Encourage youth and adults to use their talents to positively address societal issues
  • Establish high expectations for students and staff behavior in the classroom.
arts integration
Arts Integration

Successful Schools……


  • Utilize Arts integration as a way to increase academic achievement
  • Utilize the arts as a way to teach character development
  • Utilize the arts as a way to increase student interest in classroom and after school activities
professional development
Professional Development

Successful schools have prof. dev. that…..

  • Is data driven
  • Develops both content and process knowledge
  • Is directly related to preset goals and objectives
  • Is recent and relevant
  • Brings about improved achievement results for all students
  • Is communicated in an easily understood way
  • Is differentiated based on student data
evidence of success
Evidence of Success

Successful schools……

  • Review data frequently
  • Continuously revisit the strategic plan
  • Show continuous improvement on state assessments
  • Increased student and teacher attendance
  • Decrease in discipline referrals
arts teachers
Arts Teachers
  • Should be data driven
  • Should plan lessons that assist in building student academic skills
  • Should be purposeful in planning (ask why is this important for a student to know)
  • Should provide lesson coherence and practice.
  • Should model how to do something several times and provide students with guided and independent practice.