The California Alliance for Arts Education has launched a new online resource to support arts integration programs at low-income schools. The website guides Title I school leaders through a rigorous process to plan and evaluate arts strategies that can help achieve the goals of the Title I program.
“Arts programs can help schools achieve the aims of Title I by facilitating student engagement and learning, strengthening parent involvement, and improving school climate and school wide behavior,” according to the website live at http://www.title1arts.org.
Yet, up until recently, there was no procedure to do this and zero California Title I schools – out of approximately 6,000 Title I schools – that were officially using Title I funds to support arts education strategies. Despite a substantial body of research demonstrating that arts education increases student achievement, there has been a lack of clarity whether or not arts strategies are permissible within federally funded Title 1 programs. A survey conducted by Arts for All in 2011 found that students attending Title I schools in Los Angeles had disproportionately low access to arts education compared to their more economically advantaged peers.
In response, the California Alliance for Arts Education has pursued a “policy pathway” to establish a shared understanding aligned across school, district, state and federal levels of leadership regarding what is allowable when it comes to expending Title I funds on arts education strategies. These efforts are documented in the Alliance’s policy paper, Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title 1 Goals and are now laid out in an online guide that offers a step-by-step process that districts can use to evaluate and pursue arts strategies.
The guide, live at Title1arts.org, provides a rigorous seven-step procedure aligned with state and federal Title I regulations. From analyzing student data to selecting the appropriate strategy the online resource offers best practices and real life example for school leaders who wish to embrace arts programming among their strategies for achieving Title I goals.