TeachME Professional Development

How Arts Education Impacts Underperforming Schools

Executive Summary

1. Low performing schools proportionately serve low-income students of color and generally have each of the following characteristics EXCEPT:

A. High teacher and principal turnover

B. Low levels of trust among school aged children

C. Significant student disciplinary issues

D. Low attendance

2. Even though a substantial body of evidence demonstrates a positive impact of arts education on students, the implementation of arts programming across the country is inequitably distributed and subject to elimination.

A. True

B. False

3. Turnaround Arts is built upon the principle that successful use of high-quality arts education in school turnaround must mobilize a set of core assets or 'pillars' to target:

A. School-wide reform

B. Improved overall achievement

C. Broader school objectives

D. Student engagement


4. U.S Department of Education School Improve Grants (SIGs) have been awarded to the bottom ten percent of each states, and rely on a "transformation" model that requires that the principal be replaced and no more than 50% of staff be rehired.

A. True

B. False

Arts Engagement as a Lever for School Transformation

5. Researchers emphasize that while arts education has positive benefits for all students, the beneficial impact on at-risk children may be even more pronounced, and as such, arts education is often cited as a strategy to engage disadvantaged youth who struggle in traditional school settings.

A. True

B. False


6. An important hypothesis to support Turnaround Arts is that strategically implementing high-quality and integrated arts education programming in high-poverty chronically underperforming schools adds significant value to school-wide reform.

A. True

B. False

Turnaround Arts Logic Model

7. The Turnaround Arts Logic Model promotes long term student success outcomes such as greater class participation and improved school behavior.

A. True

B. False

Uniform Practices in Turnaround Arts Schools

8. Which of the following were NOT included as part of the first year commitments for Turnaround Arts schools?

A. Increase expectations and minimum levels for classroom teachers to integrate the arts into their content

B. Build an Arts Leadership Team of arts specialists, classroom teachers, and administrators and create a strategic arts plan

C. Maintain a minimum of one full time arts specialist on staff and provide key staff with professional development in art integration

D. Prioritize time within the larger school schedule for staff to collaborate, plan, and receive training in arts integration

An Overiew of Instructional Assets in the Arts

9. One way that Turnaround Arts school leaders have prioritized the offerings of arts across a variety of disciplines is through hiring art specialists on staff and through collaboration with art partners and teaching artists.

A. True

B. False

Pillar 1

10. School principals are critical players in carrying a clear vision of the skills and opportunities the arts offer students, and in ensuring consistency in arts programming and promoting:

A. Enhancement of school culture

B. Development of improved attitudes toward school

C. Incorporation of arts into education

D. Coherence with broader school plans

Pillar 2

11. In order to provide students with high-quality sequential arts instruction during the first year of implementation, Turnaround schools were expected to meet minimum requirements of each student receiving at least two periods a week with an art specialist.

A. True

B. False

Pillar 3

12. Classroom teachers who were the most successful at integrating arts in meaningful, accessible, and strategic ways were those who were able to collaborate with other educators as well as community members who supported the arts.

A. True

B. False

Classroom Teacher Practice

13. Teachers have reported that the greatest barriers to incorporating the arts into instructional practice are too many competing priorities at the school or district level and:

A. Insufficient supplemental curriculum to support arts in the classroom

B. Insufficient access to art content experts to assist with integrating arts into lessons

C. Insufficient planning time for developing art in the classroom

D. Insufficient professional development to support arts in the classroom

Pillar 4

14. Which of the following is NOT of the benefits cited for involving local artists and community arts organizations in the development of a strong school arts program?

A. To offer students experience in diverse arts disciplines

B. To model arts practices in classrooms and coach individual teachers in the integration of a particular art form

C. To educate teachers and students in career trajectories in the arts

D. To help students and teachers make a life-long connection to various art forms

Pillar 5

15. Turnaround Art schools frequently began with a very low base of parent involvement, and parents reactions varied from widespread parental approval to parents who were concerned that the arts would take away from academics.

A. True

B. False

16. As a way to get the community at large to support arts in the schools, active steps were taken to provide public performances, display student work in public places, and build relationships with key local leaders.

A. True

B. False

17. As a foundation for transformation and school turnaround, principals and other key leaders focused on:

A. Intentional application of the pillars

B. Strategic use of the arts

C. Professional learning communities

D. An art integration model

Pillar 7

18. All Turnaround Arts schools implemented professional development activities including integrated art coaches, specialized learning communities, and expert driven continuing education.

A. True

B. False

Pillar 8

19. Investing in activities, events, and strategies to enhance the school environment through the arts is intended to give rise to individual student voices and accomplishments in order to:

A. Enhance self-esteem and mutual regard

B. Improve school engagement

C. Develop cultural appreciation

D. None of the above

Drawing Conclusions about Implementation

20. From 2012-2014 Turnaround Art schools implemented an extensive set of arts education programming that were not common in high poverty, low performing schools that included:

A. Exposing students to a variety of arts disciplines for a significant amount of time

B. Providing significant allocation of arts educators

C. Intentionally integrating arts into the overall school philosophy and improvement strategy

D. All of the above

Program Impacts: Analyzing Indicators of School Improvement

21. Early examination of both math and reading proficiency rates demonstrated promising improvement of students' academic performance among Turnaround Arts schools, and specifically:

A. 6 out of the 8 observed schools improved their reading proficiency rates between 2011 and 2014

B. 5 out of the 8 schools improved their math proficiency rates between 2011 and 2014

C. Of the 8 Turnaround Arts schools, 3 had double digit points gains for math proficiency rates, and 2 had similar gains in reading proficiency rates

D. On average, the 8 Turnaround Art schools have demonstrated an 18.5% improvement in math proficiency between 2011 and 2014 and a 10% improvement in reading proficiency

School Improvement Indicators

22. An important goal for Turnaround Arts schools was to engage students with art education as one way to improve attendance, and evaluations showed that such schools generally demonstrated consistently good attendance.

A. True

B. False

23. The majority of survey respondents agreed that the Turnaround Arts program had positively influenced their school, with 50-80% of educators responding that the arts had helped increase parent, student, and teacher engagement in the school and in instruction.

A. True

B. False

24. Improvement in school discipline outcomes were demonstrated by the majority of Turnaround Arts Schools, who had reductions in the number of in or out-of-school suspensions, or both.

A. True

B. False

Exploring the Relationship Between Implementation and School Improvement-Data Source

25. In order to assess if art content experts were able to act as change agents, researchers evaluated the number of art disciplines offered, the ratio of staff to students, and the number of instructional minutes and grades served.

A. True

B. False

26. Data sources that were used to identify improvements in the school environment included presence of professional art in the building, how student art was displayed, student performances and exhibitions and:

A. Teacher perceptions

B. Behavior in hallways

C. Student leadership in art projects

D. Peer to peer support

Characterizing Implementation

27. A critical factor in the success of Turnaround Arts schools was that unlike typical low performing schools, none of them experienced the principal or superintendent turnover that often occurs in such settings.

A. True

B. False

Considering the Relationship Between Implementation and Achievement

28. The common characteristics of the schools that were in the highest category in terms of both school improvement and implementation included each of following EXCEPT:

A. School leaders who successfully targeted the pillars

B. An emphasis on mobilizing the arts as a lever in their larger school improvement strategy

C. Adequate financial investments from public and private sources

D. Flexibility and support from districts

Drawing Conclusions about Program Impacts

29. When Turnaround Schools showed significant progress in indicators of student achievement, attendance, and discipline, they also presented evidence of positive perceptions of teachers in regards to the impact of art.

A. True

B. False


30. Leaders and teachers in each Turnaround School had to work to use arts to transform their schools while considering their unique:

A. Context and needs

B. Circumstances and challenges

C. Goals and priorities

D. Experiences and strengths

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