If there is one thing we love here at ArtsEd Washington, it is a meaty study. I thought I’d share the ones that have been a sticky on my desktop this past year as some great end-of-year reading! -Danielle, Executive Director



As arts programs continue to face the budget ax, a handful of new studies suggest that’s a grave mistake. The arts provide cognitive, academic, behavioral, and social benefits that go far beyond simply learning how to play music or perform scenes in a play.

In a major new study from Rice University involving 10,000 students in third through eighth grades, researchers determined that expanding a school’s arts programs improved writing scores, increased the students’ compassion for others, and reduced disciplinary infractions. The benefits of such programs may be especially pronounced for students who come from low-income families, according to a 10-year study of 30,000 students released in 2019.

Unexpectedly, another recent study found that artistic commitment—think of a budding violinist or passionate young thespian—can boost executive function skills like focus and working memory, linking the arts to a set of overlooked skills that are highly correlated to success in both academics and life.

We spend 51% of the state budget on public education. http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/budget/2019CitizensGuide.pdf

PTSA funding disparity is deepening inequities. https://www.kuow.org/stories/some-seattle-school-ptas-can-afford-extra-teachers-should-they-spread-the-wealth

Only 30% of 8th graders are taking art in WA. Arts Data collected from the 8th Grade Math assessment nationally: https://ednote.ecs.org/new-data-who-is-taking-art-classes/

While arts are a required, core subject and 2 credits are mandated for graduation (and have been for 10 years), 34% of students in one king county district are graduation without a single credit in the arts. Arts Data Dashboard for King County, reflecting 9-12th grade: https://public.tableau.com/profile/illuminate#!/vizhome/KingCountyArtsEducationData/KingCountyOverview

We’re 45th in state arts funding in the nation. While that doesn’t reflect arts education funding (because that isn’t tracked), it does reflect WA state priorities. National Assembly of State Arts Agencies: https://nasaa-arts.org/research/funding/

Our current state ranking for education spending may have changed. There has been a $3000 increase in the numbers reported! (In spring of 2019 we were 39th in education spending):https://washingtonstatereportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/ReportCard/ViewSchoolOrDistrict/103300

We are 2nd in chronic absenteeism in the nation. Portraits of Change: Aligning School and Community Resources to Reduce Chronic Absence https://www.attendanceworks.org/portraits-of-change/

The Arts & Dropout Prevention: http://dropoutprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/arts-and-dropout-prevention-2017-10.pdf