New Jersey Arts Education Partnership Debuts Interactive School Performance Dashboards for Arts Education
First-in-the-Nation Arts Education Data Portal Empowers Citizens
Warren, NJ – In January 2014, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to include arts education measures as part of the annual School Performance Reports. Today, the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership debuts the Interactive School Performance Dashboards for Arts Education. Based on the individual high school data from the School Performance Reports released by the New Jersey State Department of Education, the dashboards allow citizens to interact with the information, explore student enrollment and levels of participation for each of the four arts disciplines (Dance Music, Theater and Visual Arts). The data may be viewed by school, district, county or state totals. Schools and communities will also be able to compare their results to the averages for the entire state.
“New Jersey is continuing our tradition of providing innovative policies andinitiatives for arts education byempowering our citizens to be informed about the status and condition of arts education in schools across our state,” commented Robert Morrison, Chair of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership. “We are very appreciative of the New Jersey Department of Education for including the arts in the School Performance Reports and the recognition of the important role they play in the educational development of all our students.”
A total of 47.3% of high school students are enrolled in one or more arts disciplines during the 2012/2103 school year(representing 184,011 students). Among the disciplines, visual art has the greatest percentage of enrollment at 30.2% (117,613 students) followed by music at 16.7% (64,843 students), theater at 3.5% (12,612 students) and dance at 1.8% (7,095 students).
The call for including arts education as part of annual school reporting dates back to 2007 when the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership released the first of its kind New Jersey Arts Education Census Report, Within Our Power. Among the report’s many recommendations was thatschools should “publicly report on an annual basis information regarding access to, level of participation in visual and performing arts education, and that this information be included as part of a state accountability system.”
New Jersey has long had some of the strongest requirements for arts education in the nation. Since 1996, the visual and performing arts (Dance, Music, Theater and Visual Arts) have been a part of the New Jersey Core Curricular Content Standards and are part of the state’s graduation requirements. Additionally, New Jersey was the first state to conduct a mandated study to document access, participation and quality of arts education.
In support of these requirements, research regarding the educational benefits of the arts for all New Jersey students (not just the gifted and talented) is compelling. Various studies have identified links between involvement in the visual and performing arts and improved attendance, school engagement, increased academic performance, decreased drop out and discipline rates and higher levels of college attendance — areas of improvement vital to student success. Just as important, the arts develop important life skills including problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.
A recent study found New Jersey high schools with more arts education have a greater percentage of students who were highly proficient in language arts on the High School Proficiency Assessment test. High schools with more arts education have a higher percentage of students planning to enroll in a four-year college.
For more information about the School Performance Reports and information regarding arts education visit http://artsednj.wpengine.com/arts-education-data.asp
About the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership
The New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP) is a cosponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, with additional support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey Department of Education, the Prudential Foundation and Quadrant Research. The mission of the NJAEP is to provide a unified voice for a diverse group of constituents who agree on the educational benefits and impact of the arts, specifically the contribution they make to student achievement and a civilized, sustainable society.