The No Child Left Behind Act mandates The Arts (music, art, foreign language, etc.) as a core academic subject. However, feedback and responses collected through surveys from school administrators cited budget limits as a deterrent to providing consistent arts programming. Further examination and exchange with LTYC’s school partners indicated that without LTYC programming, schools simply would not have a consistent, quality arts program to reinforce curricular goals.
Because of LTYC’s presence, during the 2014-2015 school year over 20,000 students in 12 elementary and middle schools were consistently exposed to high quality arts resource programs.
95% of the students surveyed indicated that they would love to take another arts class next year.
LTYC programs expose students to and engage them in school-based arts programming, which includes participation and interaction with a variety of artists/arts experiences in workshops, master classes, and guest speakers. One hundred percent of the teachers working in LTYC’s programs are Teaching Artists, practitioners of the art forms they teach in performing arts, visual arts or literary arts. In addition, every LTYC instructor completed over 25 hours of professional development in the 2014-2015 school year to further enrich and maintain high quality arts instruction.
LTYC instructors utilized tests, quizzes, exit tickets, written assignments and performance-based assessments to measure the impact that arts related subject matter had on each individual student throughout the year. At the beginning of the school year, instructors used strategies such as “Think-Ink-Pair-Share” and “KWL Charts” for effective pre-assessment and summative evaluation.
LTYC teachers and Teaching Artists developed standards-based daily lesson plans that align student learning objectives, learning activities and assessments, key vocabulary, opening, introduction of new material, guided practice, independent practice, closing, differentiation and engagement. Learning experiences in the arts contribute to the development of academic skills, which include language arts, reading, literacy and math.
The relationship between drama and literacy development is well documented through our curriculum, lesson plans and observations. Through participation in LTYC arts programs, students engaged in our Theatre/Drama program are positioned to reach curricular goals by underscoring reading, comprehension, and writing skills. The same corollary can be made for music and mathematics. LTYC’s Music program teaches students the fundamentals of music, such as rhythm, note recognition, group singing and melody, while sequentially building upon skills each year. Students engaged in our Music program develop and recognize patterns, ratios and proportions, which are fundamental to acquiring mathematical skills.
LTYC provides collective data on student success for each program it offers. A curriculum-based checklist, administered by instructors, serves as the pre- and post-assessment of student academic achievement. Language development, literacy, math, science, and social and cultural learning are augmented through consistent repetition and dosage (time spent in the LTYC program). Students who actively and consistently participate in our arts program are developing transferable skills, which are acquired in one context (the arts) and/or improve learning in another context (academics).
Learning and acquisition of skills is a complex process. Using the arts to support and improve academic success supplements learning, which may increase over time and in multiple ways. LTYC programs provide extended learning experiences for students, who develop those 21st century learning skills. Students participating in weekly LTYC Arts Programs develop: leadership, accountability, communication, creative thinking, cultural awareness, deductive reasoning, social interaction, team building, problem solving/logical thinking and skills in working independently. Equal to, if not more substantial than these proficiencies, are those that students develop subtlety through the ongoing, high quality programming that LTYC provides: motivation to achieve or the determination to work through difficult scenarios toward an informed outcome.
The core principle of our assessment is the alignment of assessment with instruction -- learning that is actually taking place. LTYC currently uses specific content area outcomes, performance evaluations and pre- and post- assessments aligned with each content/grade level to assess students’ learning abilities in their arts resource program. LTYC uses these observation protocols and other such systematic tools in each of its programs over time, projects, units and students to construct rubrics for tracking the range of accomplishment in student arts learning behaviors; checklists for tracking the simple absence or presence of student arts learning behaviors, and for tracking students’ arts skill development, self-assessment, for planning and observation; and surveys for tracking student perceptions and content knowledge.
See LTYC's 2016 Data Report for more information.