California Department of Education is a member of Cohort 1 of the National Arts Education Data Project. We were the first state to launch our dashboard, with two years of data (2013-14 and 2014-15) in November 2016. We are proud to be the first state to add two additional years of data (2015-16 and 2016-17) this month.
The CA Arts Ed Data Project has been a game changer for Arts Education stakeholders around the state. It was not an easy birth. When SEADAE members Jack Mitchell and Mary Rice first requested California’s participation in 2015, the State was beginning a new system of student data reporting and accountability. We were told that we would not be able to join cohort one and that the Data Division at the Department did not see how we could get such a large block of data out of the system anytime in the foreseeable future. There were also concerns that this would be viewed by local districts as a “gottcha” effort on the part of the Department, focusing on those districts that were struggling to maintain what marginal programs they had. But thanks to a strong partnership with the state Alliance for Arts Education, a commitment of the State Superintendent’s Office, a strategy shift that focused on support for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in delivering Arts education, and much hard work by Quadrant Educational Research director Bob Morrison, we were able to get our first Data drops to Quadrant in Fall of 2016 and launch the project in November of the same year. The initial launch was preceded by an informational webinar. This focused on support for local districts in strengthening Arts education and pulling together local teams to make sense of the data that they were seeing. The webinar was also presented to our network of County Art leads and the State PTA so that they would be able to provide regional/local support in accessing and evaluating the data. This collaborative approach led to a successful launch and positive response to the accessibility of the data and its positive impact at the local level.
The CA Arts Ed Data Project web page is housed on the CREATE CA website http://www.createca.org
. The page includes not only the interactive map but a tool kit of support materials including how to convene a collaborative team to assess the data, guidance and tools for arts program evaluation, a roadmap for strategic arts planning, and links to state and local agencies that can support high quality sequential Arts education. The Department has provided project information and direct support to the State Superintendents Association, the State PTA, the statewide African American and Latino Administrator’s associations, each of the four Arts Ed teacher organizations, and the statewide conference on bi-lingual education. The dashboard information has been used at the site, district, county and regional levels for program review and assessment, building collaborative relationships with community partners and strategic planning.
As we embark on phase two of the project with new data, new dashboard tools provided by Quadrant Research, and a renewed commitment to making data visible and useful to all stakeholders, we would like to thank our SEADAE colleagues for conceptualizing this project, to Bob Morrison and Quadrant Research for their flexibility and patience as well as their technical prowess, and to our partners in the CREATE CA collaborative who have traveled the state sharing the data and the tools to strengthen Arts education for all California students. We are not there yet, but thanks to the CA Arts Ed Data Project, we know where we are going.
Jack Mitchell, Education Programs Consultant
High School Innovations and Initiatives Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education