Giving Compass' Take:

• The Houston Education Research Consortium found that schools who participated in school-community arts partnerships sponsored by Houston Arts Access Initiative brought positive results for students. 

• How can donors build access to initiatives, teaching artists and programs for schools that center on arts education?

• Read more about why we need to find ways to connect students with the arts. 

A study released by the Houston Education Research Consortium finds that students whose schools participated in “school-community arts partnerships” sponsored by the Houston Arts Access Initiative benefited in a variety of ways. Participating schools were compared with schools which had been interested in participating in the partnerships but which were not randomly selected to participate.

As Matt Barnum explains, "Schools [participating in the partnerships] were encouraged to provide some exposure to theater, dance, music, and visual arts, and that took the form of on-campus performances, field trips, artists in residence, and other programs outside of school hours."

"The positive effects on writing test scores, discipline, and compassion were small to moderate. Students’ disciplinary infraction rates, for instance, fell by 3.6 percentage points. But these results are particularly encouraging because the cost to schools was fairly small — about $15 per student. (This did not include costs borne by the program as whole or by the cultural institutions that donated time.)"

Read the full article about arts education at Education Next