Candidate Survey 

School Board Candidate Survey

Analysis & Responses


Thank you to the school board candidates who responded so quickly and efficiently to the 2015 School Board Candidate Survey on Arts Education.  Below you will find highlights of the results.  We will continue to analyze the data for future statewide and regional recommendations.  And, you should be sure to vote for your preferred candidates and check on the results of the election.  These results are from the candidates who chose to respond to the rigorous questionnaire detailing their arts background, arts leadership preferences and goals, and their arts expectations for students in their district.  Please note that if your local school board candidate’s name is not in the list of responses, they elected not to respond, but you may still use the questionnaire personally in approaching them before Election Day.

Special thanks to Lisa Jaret of ArtsWA, Anne Banks at OSPI, and Ren Gooch at ArtsEd Washington for advising on this project.


Richard Burrows Signature 8.26.15

Richard Burrows

Executive Director

Survey Highlights:

  1. 32% of respondents had no access to dance studies where they went to school.
  2. For the 68% of respondents who had dance expriences, ½ of their dance experiences were in informal opportunities outside of school, and ½ of their dance experiences came during the school day.
  3. Surprisingly, while 47% of respondents had no access to media arts study, a strong 49% had some background in media arts which was spread 50/50 between out of school experiences and school day experiences
  4. 100% of respondents had background experiences in music, theatre and visual arts, primarily during the school day.
  5. 50% of respondents participated in private music study.
  6. Over half of respondents had theatre experiences during school, informally, or before/after school, even though there are very few theatre teachers in the state.
  7. 91% of respondents indicated they felt that credentialed arts teachers should be primary deliverers of arts instruction.  Additionally, 3/4ths of respondents believe that additional instruction in the arts should be provided by elementary/generalist teachers, artists, teaching artists, arts organizations, volunteers and parents.
  8. 83% of respondents acknowledged that schools/districts should meet Washington State requirements of arts as a core subject.  While there were various strategies/goals suggested by candidates to achieve that goal, it should be noted that only 20% believed there should be a district-level per pupil funding formula for the arts in K-12 education.
  9. Candidates, by a margin of 72%, believe that students should have a balance between exposure programs in the arts and intensive study in an art form.  20% of respondents stated they felt that they should focus on student achievement in ELA, math, science and PE before considering arts education.
  10. 86% of respondents indicated that their first step in arts education if elected would be to observe arts teaching in a classroom.  Half indicated they would survey schools in an arts needs assessment.  Only 35% suggested they would establish arts as a district goal, but that response is important for the communities in which they are running.
  11. Happily, 45% o respondents provided personal/professional arts anecdotes and 80% requested to be on an arts education listserv to learn more about how to support arts education.

To see individual candidate responses, click on the link below:

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You’ve asked your candidates, you’ve read the results, but what’s next?

Suggestions for continuing your support of Arts Education:

  1. Thank your school board candidates for responding and offer to help them in their arts goals as a community supporter.
  2. If your school board candidate’s responses are not listed, ask why they didn’t respond.
  3. Use the survey as a questionnaire for any decision-maker in the arts within your community at any time.
  4. Invite candidates and elected school board members to view an arts class in progress.
  5. Ask ArtsEd Washington to assist you in formulating an arts needs assessment survey for your district. We’re happy to help! You can reach us by calling 206.441.4501 or by email via

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Thank you for supporting Arts Education by participating in the 2015 Survey of School Board Candidates on Arts Education.

We also wish to thank the Washington State Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts for their support with this project.ArtsWa HiRes ColorNEA 2014 Logo