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Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day.


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Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day. Lessons from five schools.

Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day. Lessons from five schools.

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  • 1. Lessons from Five Schools➻AdvancingArts Educationthrough anExpandedSchool Day
  • 2. 2 National Center on Time & Learning Advancing Arts Education
  • 3. As children play music, as they paint ordraw or design, as they dance or act orsing, many develop new passions, come toexpress themselves in original ways, anddiscover innovative pathways to success.
  • 4. National Center on Time & LearningThe National Center on Time &Learning (NCTL) is dedicated toexpanding learning time to improvestudent achievement and enable awell-rounded education. Throughresearch, public policy, and technicalassistance, NCTL supports national,state, and local initiatives that addsignificantly more school time to helpchildren meet the demands of the 21stcentury and prepare for success incollege and career.THE WALLACE FOUNDATIONThe Wallace Foundation is anational philanthropy that seeks toimprove education and enrichmentfor disadvantaged children. Thefoundation funds projects to testinnovative ideas for solving importantsocial problems, conducts researchto find out what works and whatdoesn’t and to fill key knowledgegaps—and then communicates theresults to help others.IN appreciationWe are very grateful to theadministrators, teachers, communitypartners, and students in the fiveprofiled schools for welcoming us intotheir buildings, generously sharingtheir valuable time, and demonstratingtheir commitment to improving artseducation for all.Contents 4 The Frame: A Study of Arts Education 5 Why Arts in Schools? 9 Arts Education Today 10 A National Study 12 Key Findings 14 Portraits of Five Schools 14 Berkshire Arts Technology CharterPublic School (BART) 22 Clarence Edwards Middle School 32 Metropolitan Arts and TechnologyCharter High School (Metro) 42 Cole Arts and Sciences Academy (CASA) 50 Roger Williams Middle School 58 Lasting Impressions:Valuing Time for the Arts AdvancingArts Educationthrough anExpandedSchool Day:Lessons from Five Schools➻
  • 5. Preludein schools across the country, educators recognize the powerof the arts to change young lives. They know that students’ sus-tained engagement with enriching, high-quality experiencesin the arts promotes essential skills and perspectives—like thecapacity to solve problems, express ideas, harness and honecreativity, and persevere toward a job well done. And yet today,educators at many schools that operate with conventionalschedules are forced to choose between offering their studentsvaluable opportunities to pursue the arts and focusing on otherrigorous core classes that also are necessary for success in the21st century. This study, which highlights an exciting newapproach, is produced by the National Center on Time Learning (NCTL), an organization dedicated to expandinglearning time toimprove studentachievement andenable a well-roundededucation, with supportfrom The WallaceFoundation, a nationalphilanthropy seeking toimprove education andenrichment for disad-vantaged children. Inthese pages, we presentportraits of five schoolsthat are advancing artseducation through anexpanded school day asthey create vibrant andinclusive models oftruly enriching educa-tion for all students.
  • 6. 4 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationFor young people, the arts can open up a whole new worldof possibilities. As children play music, as they paint or drawor design, as they dance or act or sing, many develop newpassions, come to express themselves in creative ways, anddiscover innovative pathways to success. Indeed, some researchevidence suggests that the skills, practices, pursuits, and habitsof mind that students gain through sustained encountersand engagement with high-quality experiences in the artscan promote the kind of intellectual growth that we valuethroughout their school years and beyond. Moreover, creatingand learning through the arts offer children and adolescentsaccess to an invaluable endeavor: a means to connectemotionally with others and deepen their understanding of thehuman condition.Yet, when it comes to instituting the arts in public education,classes in dance, drawing, theater, and even music often hold afragile place. Over the last 30 years—and, in particular, duringthe last decade, when there has been intense focus on achiev-ing proficiency in reading and math above all—arts educationhas occupied a shrinking place in the life of schools. The de-cline comes as today’s educators often feel compelled to makea choice between providing their students with instruction intested subjects or being able to offer a well-rounded, enrichededucation that encompasses the arts. Consequently, the twotheframe:A Studyof ArtsEducationRealizing a well-rounded education throughan expanded and redesigned school day
  • 7. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 5arenas of academics and the arts are often positionedas competitors in a kind of zero-sum game, ratherthan as partners in a potential educational synergythat holds both intrinsic and instrumental benefitsfor students. One of the essential questions facingAmerican public education, going forward, is howto reconcile our commitment to raising academicachievement with our simultaneous desire to makeavailable a wide array of learning opportunities thatwill help students lead full, enriched lives as mem-bers of their families, workplaces, communities, andthe interconnected global society.Around the country, a growing number of schoolsare finding ways to respond to this question throughthe power of a redesigned and expanded schoolschedule. This report presents portraits of five suchschools, whose longer student and teacher days allowthem to prioritize and expand time for arts educationas they improve overall academic instruction andindividual student results, the vision of educationalexcellence laid out in the 1994 Goals 2000: EducateAmerica Act and re-codified in the No Child Left Be-hind Act.1Educators at these schools believe that thearts can contribute appreciably to students’ capac-ity to solve problems, acquire and apply knowledge,deepen engagement, and develop the persistence anddedication that are hallmarks of good scholarshipand learning. And, as they broaden students’ experi-ences and enable them to sharpen skills in diverseareas, these educators have imagined and imple-mented learning environments where the arts canreveal what education is really about—kindling inyoung people the passion to learn and improve whothey are and what they can do.The schools in this study,each of which serves apredominantly low-income student body, offer theirstudents substantially more learning time than con-ventional schools, which operate with, on average,just 180 six-and-a-half-hour days. Although eachof the profiled schools has come to allocate moretime and implement a specific educational model viadifferent paths, these expanded-time schools—andthe more than 1,000 expanded-time schools nowspread across the American educational landscape—do share one overriding attribute. With more time,these schools gain the potential both to improveacademics and to provide students engaging, high-quality arts programs. As the five schools in thisstudy demonstrate, making available extra minutes,hours, and days offers new possibilities to build a fullrange of arts activities and courses into the curricu-lum while still ensuring that students spend the timethey need to succeed in academics. The rewardingresult, benefiting students and educators alike, takesshape as these schools are able to realize what is alltoo uncommon in schools serving children from dis-advantaged backgrounds—a truly well-rounded andenriched education.Why Arts in Schools?Educators see two fundamental reasons to includearts education within the curricular program oftheir schools. The first reason revolves around whatis called the “instrumental value” of arts education.When students engage with the arts, they may beable to develop skills that facilitate and enhanceBBBBThe expanded-timeschools in this study areable to realize a trulywell-rounded and enrichededucation.
  • 8. 6 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationtheir learning throughout the school day and thatwill benefit them throughout their lives. From im-proving their ability to express themselves and hon-ing their creativity, to promoting the value of hardwork in achieving certain objectives, arts educationcan push children and adolescents to become moreeffective students and, in the long run, can betterprepare them to navigate the challenges of the 21stcentury.The second reason for arts education speaks lessto how the arts prepare students for productive livesand more to how the arts enable individuals, youngand old, to enhance personal engagement with ourbroader society. Interaction with, and appreciationof, the arts can sharpen and nuance our sense ofempathy, not to mention captivate our minds andenliven our spirits. The arts offer a unique “intrinsicvalue” that children deserve to access and delight in,and schools, which have a mission to educate theirstudents about the wider world, hold an obligation tofurnish such essential and vital opportunities.For educators, these two different perspectives onthe role and place of the arts as a means for attainingour broader educational goals need not be in conflict;indeed, a school’s commitment to robust arts educa-tion can be strongly rooted in both its instrumentaland intrinsic significance.The Instrumental Effects of the ArtsA body of recent research lends support to the ideathat high-quality arts education can sometimes pro-vide opportunities to help children develop skills thatcan enhance learning—whether contributing to hab-its of persistence through careful practice; greaterawareness of how to collaborate (by preparing a play,for example); or learning how to internalize andapply feedback by mastering a particular skill (say,a dance step) with the help of an instructor. Gifts ofthe Muse, a 2004 study by the RAND Corporation,notes that in the “doing” of art, students must acquirenew skills and concepts, monitor their own learning,and recognize how feedback from others can be es-sential to their own progress. As RAND puts it,students “must develop the ability to know when theyunderstand what they learn. And feedback is key inthis context. Both elements are essential to learninghow to learn, which is perhaps the most importantinstrumental benefit of arts education.”2However, evidence for the direct impact of artseducation on student test scores is weak. There isresearch—most notably, the work done by JamesCatterall and colleagues of a series of analyses of na-tional databases, which together include over 25,000students—that finds correlations between a moreconsistent study of the arts and higher achievement,but the interpretation of these correlations is farfrom clear.3 It may very well be that those inclinedto participate in the arts are the same students whoare more likely to enjoy school and seek to do wellthere, regardless, or perhaps that schools with sub-stantial opportunities in the arts are also more likelyto provide a quality education overall. Ellen Winnerand Monica Cooper (among others) point out thatuncertainty underlies these studies because the cor-relational studies do not use rigorous experimentaldesigns, which means they cannot be relied on todemonstrate causal links, especiallywhen it comes to academic outcomes.4 AsRAND concluded in its own assessmentof the research field, “[O]f the claimedcognitive effects of arts participation onchildren, the enhancement of learningskills is more likely to occur than is theenhancement of knowledge acquisitionin non-arts subjects (like the developmentof mathematical skills).”5For these reasons, many researchersargue that, instead of employingconventional academic metrics tounderstand the possible impact of artseducation on young people, we should focus onhow the arts might enhance primary or underlyingcompetencies and perspectives in students thatsupport cognitive growth (and that then may ormay not be captured through the traditional waysof measuring achievement in school).6 Theseinstrumental benefits of arts education tend tobe framed as four broad, somewhat overlappingcategories. Illustrated by one or two examples of themore reliable research studies from the field, thefour instrumental benefits of arts education can bedescribed as follows:O Encouraging problem solving through creativity, multi-disciplinary thought, and visualization:a A study found that students participating in a spe-cialized program to promote visual thinking dem-onstrated an increase in awareness of the subjec-tive nature of interpretation, a decrease in the useof circular reasoning, and an increase in evidentialreasoning (using evidence to support an explana-tion or interpretation) in both arts and science.7A Study of Arts EducationWith more time, these schools canpursue an agenda that seeks both toimprove academics and to afford studentsengaging, high-quality arts programs.
  • 9. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 7O Improving the ability to communicate and expressideas:a A study following teachers who integrateddrama into writing classes found that students’writing was more effective, especially whenthese students were given the opportunity towrite “in role” (adopting the voice of the charac-ter they had been portraying in the play).8a aN Assessment of English language learnerswho participated in an unstructured art periodin school found that their confidence in speak-ing grew as they talked about their artwork,and that middle school students’ vocabularyincreased as they shared information abouttheir artwork.9O Teaching the value and habits of practice, hardwork, and initiative to accomplish goals:a Two scholars with Project Zero, aneducational research group at the HarvardGraduate School of Education, describe thenurturing of “studio habits” among studentsin carefully selected, high-quality arts classes.These practices include the connective conceptthat effort, revision, and hard work can lead toexcellence.10O Deepening student engagement in learning and schoolcommunity, including appreciating one’s own value as anindividual and encouraging positive social behaviors:a A drama-based youth violence preventionprogram in Boston that took place over thecourse of 27 weeks curbed the increase of ag-gressive and violent behavior in its fourth-gradeparticipants, while control group students’aggressive behavior increased over time. Par-ticipants in the drama program also developedenhanced pro-social behaviors, like self-controland cooperation. A similar review of anotherdrama program found comparable results.11As helpful as this body of research is for broaden-ing our awareness of the role the arts can play insupporting young people’s development, it, too, mustbe approached with some caveats. RAND concludedthat “Overall, we found that most of the empirical re-search on instrumental benefits suffers from a num-ber of conceptual and methodological limitations.”These include, first, the lack of rigor needed to deter-mine causality, and second, a lack of specificity thatwould allow us to know who precisely is benefittingthrough participation and in what ways. Perhapsthe particular youth involved in these programs maybe those who are naturally drawn to the arts, and soare best positioned to realize gains from participa-tion. Additionally, these studies also generally do notconsider the “opportunity costs” of arts programsand their effects, as compared to other interventionsor sets of activity.12 In otherwords, it may very well bethat students might gainsimilar (or even greater) benefits from involvementin other classes or activities than from the particulararts programs examined.This final point suggests a larger problem thatarises when arts are considered primarily as“instrumental,” that is, in terms of how they serveother ends. Namely, there may be alternate or moreeffective ways to achieve these desired aims, andso, the distinctive value of the arts fades. As EllenWinner, a professor of psychology at Boston Collegeand a senior research associate at Harvard’s ProjectZero, explains:These instrumental arguments are going to doom thearts to failure, because any superintendent is going tosay, “If the only reason I’m having art is to improve math,let’s just have more math.” Do we want to therefore say,“No singing,” because singing didn’t lead to spatial im-provement? You get yourself in a bind there.13Given the context of the high-stakes accountabilityworld in which schools with conventional schedulesoperate, educators today often feel they have littleflexibility within their very tight time limits to advo-cate for pursuits that lie outside the accumulation ofacademically oriented skills. As such, arts’ distinc-tive and potentially powerful impact on young livesis not always realized.The Intrinsic Significance of the ArtsThere is no denying that the arts hold a unique placein our civilization: They offer pathways to under-standing and to the full realization of our identitiesthat other human endeavors usually do not yield.In such ways, the arts encourage and enable each ofus to discover new sensibilities and deepen our ap-preciation for the world around us. As novelist JohnUpdike wrote, “What art offers is space—a certainbreathing room for the spirit.”BBBBThe arts hold aunique place, offeringpathways to understandingand to the full realization ofour identities.
  • 10. 8 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationThe President’s Committeeon Arts and the Humanities(PCAH) identifies artsintegration as having“unique potential as aneducation reform model,”one that involves employingthe skills and strategiestypically practiced inthe arts across differentdisciplines and in waysthat seamlessly combinearts and academic content.Although the idea hasbeen around for decades,the approach has becomeincreasingly formalized andstructured over the last fewyears, because it seems tohold such promise as a wayto imbue academic classeswith the sense of joy anddiscovery that are inherentto the arts, all within theconstraints of the standardschool schedule.Examples of arts integra-tion include observationaldrawing in science class,using music notation as partof a lesson in fractions, andacting out episodes from anovel to understand theirmeaning. Arts integrationis not intended to replacethe teaching of the arts fortheir own sake, but rather toincorporate artistic mediaand blend creative self-expression with core subjectmatter to solve problemsand advance proficiency.Because arts integrationas a formal approach is justin its early phases of imple-mentation, and becausehigh-quality arts integrationdemands a complex mixof content knowledge andartistic sensibilities, teach-ers will need significantprofessional developmentin order to help arts integra-tion reach its full potential.As the PCAH pointed out inits 2009 report, the “pos-sibilities for learning othersubjects through the artsare limitless.” aStill, edu­cators and school adminis-trators also must be carefulnot to view arts integrationas replacing arts classes,for, as Ellen Winner andLois Hetland warn, “[I]f webecome swayed by today’stesting mentality and cometo believe that the arts areimportant only (or evenprimarily) because they but-tress abilities consideredmore basic than the arts,we will unwittingly be writ-ing the arts right out of thecurriculum.” ba President’s Committee on the Artsand the Humanities, Reinvesting inArts Education, p. 39.b Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner,“Cognitive Transfer from Arts Educa-tion to Non-arts Outcomes: ResearchEvidence and Policy Implications” inE. Eisner and M. Day, eds., Handbookon Research and Policy in Art Education(Reston, VA: National Art EducationAssociation, 2004), p. 50.An Appealing StrategyArts IntegrationEncounters with the arts may support people intheir emotional development. Elliot Eisner, a leadingscholar of arts education, has argued, “The arts en-able us to have experience we can have from no oth-er source and through such experience to discoverthe range and variety of what we are capable of feel-ing.”14 Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in hisstudy of creativity, found that artists would enthusi-astically describe creation itself as a joyous, excitingact, which derives fulfillment from the attainment ofexcellence in a particular activity.15A study by Project Zero maintains further that,through the arts, individuals come to “make qualita-tive discernments and judgments…and to activelyshape their own aesthetic environments.”16 Thearts, in other words, enable each of us to appreciatehow the details of an object, a visual representation,or an aural experience can instill in all of us botha concept and a perception of excellence. With thisbroader understanding and insight, the arts teach usto know the good, the beautiful, and the profound.Especially on an emotional level, the arts alsoshape our lives by intensifying connections betweenand among individuals. Novelist Andrew Harrisonremarks that “A work of art is…a bridge, howevertenuous, between one mind and another.”17 That is,as the RAND authors describe in Gifts of the Muse,art is a “communicative experience”:Unlike most human communication, which takesplace through formalized discourse, art communicatesthrough direct experience; the heart of our response is akind of sensing (similar to the sense of wonder we mayfeel when we come across great natural beauty). This im-mediate encounter becomes enriched by reflection uponit: the aesthetic experience is not limited to passive spec-tatorship—it typically stimulates curiosity, questioning,and the search for explanation.18As powerful as these effects may be, it is difficultto trace exactly how these intrinsic benefits of thearts might support students in school settings. Notonly are such areas of individual growth almostimpossible to measure on their own, their influenceon what might be considered narrower domains ofacademic achievement is so intricate and nebulousthat the connections are speculative, at best. None-theless, given the acknowledged inherent value ofthe arts—their power to deepen thinking, enhancecommunication, motivate, and even to transform usas human beings—it seems only fitting that schoolsshould be responsible for providing these enrichingopportunities to all their students.A Study of Arts Education
  • 11. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 9Arts Education TodayWith all that children stand to gain from arts partici-pation—at school and throughout their lives—it isno surprise that many educators and policymakerschampion efforts to include the arts as a core featureof public education. Yet, these same championsmust also confront the reality of finite resources ofboth money and school time, along with the cur-rent structure of public schooling in America today,which together can compel educators to rank someforms of education above others, with the arts oftenrelegated to a lower rung.Competing PrioritiesCertainly, there is no shortage of high-profile advo-cacy for more arts education. In a May 2011 reportof the President’s Committee on the Arts and theHumanities (PCAH), for example, U.S. Secretary ofEducation Arne Duncan asserted: “Education in thearts is more important than ever…. To succeed todayand in the future, America’s children will need tobe inventive, resourceful, and imaginative. The bestway to foster that creativity is through arts educa-tion.”19 Yet, this growing recognition of the impor-tance of arts education is nonetheless complicated byanother reality, as the PCAH explains:…due to budget constraints and emphasis on the subjectsof high-stakes testing, arts instruction in schools is on adownward trend. Just when they need it most, the class-room tasks and tools that could best reach and inspirethese students—art, music, movement, and perform-ing—are less available to them.20Available data bear out this assertion. A 2008 na-tional survey by the Center for Education Policy,for instance, found that, on average, districts hadreduced elementary school class time for music andart by 35 percent, or 57 minutes per week. Mean-while, according to a survey in 2011, about half ofelementary and secondary school teachers feel thatart and music are “getting less attention” as a resultof curriculum shifts toward reading and math.21These recent decreases cap a decades-long declinein arts education throughout our public schools. Ac-cording to Nick Rabkin, a senior research scientist atthe University of Chicago, 65 percent of high schoolgraduates in 1980 had received an adequate arts edu-cation. By 2008, that proportion had slipped to under50 percent.22Not surprisingly, this “downward trend” in artseducation affects poor children disproportionately.In James Catterall’s study, cited earlier, studentsdesignated as “high-arts” participants were twiceas likely to be from high-income families and,conversely, low-income students were more thantwice as likely to be categorized as “low arts.”23 Arecent report from the Government AccountabilityOffice showed that in schools designated as “needsimprovement” or that had higher percentages ofminority students, teachers were significantly morelikely to report decreased time spent in the arts thanwere teachers from schools that were not deemed inneed of improvement.24Of course, today’s educators are not deliberatelytrying to deny children—and, especially, childrenliving in poverty—such arts-rich opportunities.Rather, today’s educators are living in a classic,resource-limited environment, one in which bothmoney and time are constrained. Practitionersunderstandably direct what resources they do haveto meeting the objectives that they consider to betheir primary responsibility. So, with the intensefocus on having students achieve proficiency inreading and math, arts education seems dispensable,and time is often shifted away from this area andgiven instead to classes in tested subjects.Time for ArtsWhen the opportunities for arts classes and activi-ties are limited because there is simply not enoughtime during the day, week, and year to include themin a full or sustained way, then the potential for theirimpact is similarly impeded. Indeed, for arts educa-tion to have its full effect, the curriculum cannot be“tucked into” an occasional assembly or just taughtby an interested classroom teacher whenever thereis “extra” time. Playing an instrument, molding andfiring ceramics, or becoming skilled in graphic de-sign all require regular and repeated opportunities tolearn, practice, and perform. In fact, the arts fuel in-dividual development precisely because they involvestudents in sustained processes—like observing andlistening, practice and rehearsal, critique and discus-sion, performance and reflection—that unfold overtime. Furthermore, research shows that positive en-counters with the arts build upon one another, am-plifying the effects. As the RAND study explains:Once an individual understands how to becomeengaged in an arts experience—what to notice, howto make sense of it—the rewards of the experience areboth immediate and cumulative…. Once this learningprocess starts, even small incremental changes in theindividual’s level of involvement can bring high levelsof benefits.25Recognizing the tension between having insuf-ficient time during the school day, week, and yearfor students to engage with the arts and the desire todeepen children’s artistic experiences, some educa-tors have ramped up their implementation of “artsintegration”—the application of arts methods, e.g.,drawing, listening to music, and dance—within aca-demic classes. (See “An Appealing Strategy,” page 8.)Still, such applications of the arts, if they are to trulyenrich learning, often require expanded class time.
  • 12. 10 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationTeaching observational drawing as a part of biol-ogy, for example, requires time to collect specimens,learn to use a microscope, study samples of scientificillustrations, produce drawings, and discuss whatthese drawings reveal about adaptations to the sur-rounding environment.Yet, providing students with sufficient time totruly participate in the arts is not simply a matterof quantity. As a report from researchers at ProjectZero concludes, the amount of time students aregiven to engage with the arts is intricately bound upwith the quality of the experience:Virtually all of the elements of student learning andteaching…(artistic exploration, emotional openness, thedevelopment of a sense of ownership, and reflective prac-tices, for example) are dependent on adequate time. Thisis true, too, at the micro level—the time available withina particular class session. The length of the session andthe plan for how much to do within that time influencethe speed and depth of the work, as well as the nature ofthe interactions….26Further, these researchers link time directly to thepowerful relationships that might develop betweenteacher and students, which so often form the pivotpoint upon which quality arts experiences balance:Time also allows deeper social experiences and strongerbonds to form among participants…. Indeed, figuring outhow to help a student takes considerable artistic and ped-agogical experience, but it can also take time to figureout, through interactions and experiences together, howto approach and talk with young artists and what theirinterests, standards, and ambitions might be. Time is anessential ingredient in the soil in which artistic identity,sophistication, and accomplishment grow.27For these reasons, the reduction of time for arts inour nation’s schools diminishes not only students’opportunities to experience, engage, and practicethese endeavors, but also educators’ capacity to makethese classes and activities worthwhile.Fortunately, not all schools are facing such timepressures. Instead, a growing number of schoolshave expanded their hours to open opportunitiesfor both a robust core academic curriculum andvibrant arts programming. These schools have com-mitted more time to the arts and, in so doing, haveincreased the likelihood that these experiences areof higher quality. As the five schools profiled in thisreport demonstrate, with sufficient time, schoolscan achieve a new synergy—one that enables bothstrong student performance in academics and inten-sive student engagement in the arts.A National StudyAccording to the latest count from the NationalCenter on Time Learning (NCTL), more than1,000 schools across the nation feature a schoolday that is at least seven hours long and a day and/or year that is meaningfully longer than those ofsurrounding public schools. These expanded-timeschools have come into being through a variety ofpolicy and structural mechanisms. Many are charterschools that, with the flexibilities allowed throughtheir autonomous status, have crafted scheduleswhich more closely reflect the educational needsof their students. Other schools have taken similarpaths by staking out autonomies, even withincentralized districts, creating recently named“innovation districts,” in several states. Still othershave taken advantage of private or public initiativesthat deliberately fund schools to expand time. Arapidly growing cohort of expanded-time schoolsinclude those receiving federal dollars throughthe School Improvement Grant (SIG) program,a funding stream targeted to improve (or “turnaround”) chronically low-performing schools.“Increased learning time” is one of several strategiesthat SIG schools adopting the “Turnaround” or“Transformation” models are required to implement.(See “The Turnaround Arts Initiative,” page 11.) Asa result, an increasing number of educators aroundthe country have come to appreciate the value ofmore school time.Now, with support from The Wallace Foundation,NCTL has conducted this qualitative research study,exploring five schools where educators are leverag-ing an expanded school schedule to realize theiraspirations and commitments to deliver a qualityarts program to their students. Thepurpose of this study is three-fold:1 To describe how theseschools are making the most ofnontraditional, expanded-timeschedules to activate and embedthe arts throughout their educa-tional programs;2 To identify the common com-ponents of these diverse schools’curricula, programs, and pro-cesses so that practitioners at otherschools can draw both inspirationA Study of Arts EducationThe amount of time students are given toengage with the arts is intricately boundup with the quality of the experience.
  • 13. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 11Arguably, one of the mostsignificant education reformprograms in place todayis the U.S. Department ofEducation’s (USED’s) SchoolImprovement Grant (SIG)program, revamped in 2009as a part of the AmericanRecovery and ReinvestmentAct. Targeting chronicallyunderperforming schools forwholesale transformation—including the implementa-tion of rigorous data systemsand staff changes—theprogram calls for “increasedlearning time” for every stu-dent in schools that adoptthe Turnaround or Trans-formation model. With acohort of over 1,200 schoolsand already over $3.5 billioncommitted, the SIG initiativeholds great promise to turnaround many of our nation’smost troubled schools.In spring 2012, the Presi-dent’s Committee on Artsand the Humanities (PCAH)announced a partnershipwith USED to highlight thework of a small number ofthe SIG schools that areseeking to use studentengagement in the arts,specifically as a way toraise individual achieve-ment and to leverage theiroverall reform strategy. TheTurnaround Arts Initiative,as it is known, “…will testthe hypothesis that high-quality and integrated artseducation boosts academicachievement, motivates stu-dent learning, and improvesschool culture in the contextof overall school reform.”From among the hundredsof SIG schools, TurnaroundArts selected eight schoolsto participate. Initiativedesigners have highlightedtheir criteria for selectionof the eight schools, includ-ing dedicated and effectivearts specialists on staff whoare valued and empoweredwithin the school; existingprofessional development,focused on how to enablearts integration for all teach-ers; partnerships with com-munity organizations, andstrong school leadership.The intent of the Turn-around Arts Initiative isto build upon the existingresources and needs ofeach school, not to impose aone-size-fits-all program. Afull evaluation of the initia-tive will report out lessonslearned and produce a seriesof materials and tools tohelp other schools replicatethe effective practices ofthe eight pilot sites. Thus,the Turnaround Arts Initia-tive—although it representsjust a small fraction of all SIGschools—has the potential todemonstrate in concrete andpowerful ways how the artscan drive school improve-ment, empowering bothteachers and students toattain high expectations.The Turnaround Arts InitiativeConnecting school improvement to arts educationSchool LocationRoosevelt Elementary Bridgeport, CTOrchard Gardens K – 8 Pilot Boston, MAMartin Luther King, Jr. Portland, ORSavoy Elementary Washington, DCFindley Elementary Des Moines, IALame Deer Jr. High School Lame Deer, MTBatiste Cultural Arts Academy New Orleans, LANoel Community Arts School Denver, COThe participants Schools selected to take part in theTurnaround Arts Initiativeand concrete strategies for building stronger artsprogramming for their students; and3 To examine how, in the wider context ofschool improvement efforts, the arts can playa pivotal role in boosting student engagement,broadening and deepening student skills, andsetting students firmly on a path toward highperformance and achievement.To accomplish these objectives, Advancing ArtsEducation documents the policies, practices, andimpacts of five schools, which have each sought tomake the arts a central—even a driving—feature oftheir students’ educational experiences. We selectedthe public schools profiled here from a larger pool ofexpanded-time schools collected through the NCTLExpanded-Time Schools Database. The five schoolsrepresent a variety of grades served, sizes, geograph-ic locations, and school types. (See table of schools,page 12.) As the following case studies indicate, theseschools take a range of approaches to implement-ing quality arts education. Still, all of the schoolsprofiled here share some significant similarities,including the fact that each operates as a non-audi-tion school (i.e., any child is eligible to attend basedon available space); serves a majority low-incomestudent population, with, in most cases, a relativelylarge number of English language learners (ELLs);and, importantly, in addition to their expanded artsprogramming, each school is either making progresstoward, or has already attained, a high level of stu-dent academic achievement.During the 2011-12 school year, NCTL conductedone- or two-day site visits at each school to documenttheir practices and discover their shared and uniqueelements. At the sites, NCTL researchers conductedinterviews with teachers, administrators, students,parents, and community partners participating inarts programming. The researchers also observedclasses, activities, and other programmatic elements
  • 14. 12 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationrelated to the arts. Throughout, the researcherssought to answer the following key questions:a How does the school organize its educationalprogram to emphasize or take advantage of artseducation? Specifically, how is time used toboost arts education?a How does the school manage its diversity ofhuman resources (i.e., teachers, visiting artists,and community partners) to ensure high-qualityarts learning for students and compelling op-portunities for educators? Further, how doesthe school’s focus on arts enhance its educators’professional experiences?a How does the school work to integrate the artsinto core academic subjects, and how does thiseffort have an impact on learning in core aca-demic areas?a What are some of the essential skills andcompetencies educators expect students todevelop through arts enrichments and activi-ties? How are these skills in evidence?a What are some vital lessons learned about thearts in school settings, and what next steps willthis school take to enhance arts education?Key FindingsAs these case studies demonstrate, the individualschools profiled in Advancing Arts Educationvary considerably in the ways in which they havedeveloped their arts education programs andemployed policies and practices to meet theireducational goals. Despite their different histories,models, policies, and practices, however, the schoolsSCHOOL NAMESchoolday(hrs)schoolyear(days) LOCATION GRADES SCHOOL TYPE DEMOGRAPHICS (2011-2012)Berkshire Arts Technology CharterPublic School (BART)7.5 190 Adams,MA6 – 12 Charter White 87%African-American 7%Latino 4%Asian 1%Other 1%87+7+4+1+1Low-Income 60%English Language Learners 0%Clarence EdwardsMiddle School8.6 180 Boston,MA6 – 8 District,MassachusettsExpandedLearning Timegrant recipientWhite 8%African-American 17%Latino 60%Asian 14%Other 1%8+17+60+14+1Low-Income 89%English Language Learners 38%Metropolitan Arts andTechnology CharterHigh School (Metro)7.0 180 SanFrancisco,CA9 – 12 Charter White 6%African-American 21%Hispanic 56%Latino 2%Other 15%6+21+56+2+15Low-Income 96%English Language Learners 50%Cole Arts and SciencesAcademy (CASA)7.3 180 Denver,COPre-K – 5,7 – 8District withInnovation StatusWhite 4%African-American 19%Latino 71%Asian 1%Other 5%4+19+71+1+5Low-Income 96%English Language Learners 50%Roger Williams MiddleSchool7.0 180 Providence,RI6 – 8 District, SchoolImprovementGrant (SIG)recipientWhite 4%African-American 17%Latino 73%Asian 3%Other 3%4+17+73+3+3Low-Income 88%English Language Learners 28%A Study of Arts Educationa Schools featured in Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day
  • 15. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 13share three essential approaches to arts education.These approaches, designed to ensure maximumengagement and impact, can be described as follows:1 Educators at the five schools consider arts classesto be a core feature of their comprehensive educationalprogram.a The arts are not considered “extras,” andteachers and specialists in the arts (includingvisual arts, music, drama, and dance) set highexpectations for student performance.a Appreciating the pivotal role the arts canplay in student engagement and success, teach-ers seek opportunities to integrate arts educationinto academic classes.a Communicating the importance of excellingin the arts, educators value how these experienc-es help to develop in students the skills they needfor school and lifelong success (e.g., persistence,problem solving, etc.).2 Educators at these schools organize their school dayand staffing to reflect the central role of the arts anddedicate ample time to their practice.a Because they will not gain sufficiently fromonly intermittent participation in arts education,students participate in at least one hour daily ofarts-specific classes.a For both philosophical and practical purposes,all students are required to participate in artsclasses. In turn, these classes, unlike some en-richment programs in traditional schools, willnot be taken away from students because of pooracademic or behavioral performance in othercourses.a To ensure high-quality arts education, schoolshire arts “specialists,” or arts teachers, who areboth talented artists and effective educators.a Arts specialists are held to the same highperformance expectations as faculty memberswho teach other core courses, including under-going the same evaluation process and meetingthe same requirements to submit lesson plans toadministrators for review.a To support and supplement their arts pro-gramming, schools bring in staff from museums,cultural institutions, and other community part-ner organizations, along with individual teachingartists; these external arts educators are held tothe same expectations for high-quality instruc-tion as are all school faculty.3 These educators value how the arts can leverageengagement and achievement in school.a Acting on a deep appreciation that engagementwith the arts can enable children to discover theirpassions, these educators build in multiple oppor-tunities for choice within their arts programs.a These schools offer a wide variety of artsactivities and classes so that each student can ex-periment with, and pursue a number of differentforms of, art—from visual and performing arts tomultimedia and design projects.a The educators in these schools—especiallythose serving older students—emphasize thedevelopment of artistic skills over time, so thatstudents’ interests and passions can result in realproficiency in a particular art form.a As students develop a broader array of skillsthrough their engagements with various forms ofart classes and activities (e.g., music appreciation,complex drawing, etc.), academic teachers intro-duce content in new ways that tap their students’proficiencies and sensibilities.Finally, one overarching theme emergesfrom our study: More time allows educators toreconcile the tension between strong academics anda well-rounded education. Like all public schools, thefive profiled in this report operate in an environmentthat measures their effectiveness primarily throughproficiency rates on state assessments. Nevertheless,the leaders of these schools do not feel that theyhave to forgo time spent on arts education in order toensure that their students meet prescribed achieve-ment targets. Certainly, these school leaders havehad to make some challenging choices about how tostructure their school’s time, but these choices are notconsidered in an “either/or framework.” Rather, withmore time, the educators find a win-win scenario—one where they simultaneously pursue the goals ofstrong academics and enriched education throughthe arts.We have arranged the five case studies that fol-low to start with the schools that have had theirexpanded-time model in place the greatest number ofyears—up to a decade—and end with the school thatis now in its third year of operating with a longer day.Not coincidentally, this order also reflects the approx-imate degree of development of these schools’ artsprograms. Each case study follows the same basicfour-part outline: (a) an introduction providing somehistorical and cultural context; (b) a description andanalysis of why and how the school commits to artseducation, in which echoes of both the instrumentaland the intrinsic significance of the arts resound;(c) details explaining how the school leverages itsavailable time, striving for maximal effect; and (d) abrief discussion of where the school has identified ar-eas for improvement and growth. Following the casestudies, this report’s final chapter explores in greaterdepth the cross-cutting findings described above,with the goal of helping both educators and policy-makers take meaningful steps toward leveragingthe movement and opportunities of expanded schooltime to bring arts education to its full potential.
  • 16. 14 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationCASE1 Berkshire Arts Technology Charter Public School (BART)❝I had nevermet classroomteachers withthat kind ofcommitmentto the artsas a way ofknowing. Rightaway, I knew Icould balancemy life as anartist and as ateacher there.”Curtis Asch,Sixth-grade mathteacher at BART,poet, and perform-ing artistBuildingaBridgebetweenArtsandtheCommunityFocusing on arts to drive studentmastery and a deep dedication to learningBerkshire Arts Technology CharterPublic School (BART) serves grades 6 – 12 andseeks to prepare students for college by promotinga mastery of arts and technology, as well as ofacademic subjects. With its core belief in theAristotelian principle that “Excellence is a habit,” theschool pushes its students to develop the distinctivecombination of creativity and effort that yields thehighest results. And because achieving this degreeof mastery takes considerable time, as well as effort,BART relies on an expanded school day and year tohelp ensure that the arts play a central, rather thanjust a marginal, role in achieving that excellence.Over the last few years, BART has consistentlyranked as one of the highest-performing schools inthe state, but it was not always so. In its early years—the school was founded in 2004—BART educatorsAdams, Massachusetts
  • 17. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 15confronted the reality that their intentions to tryto build a new kind of school that would promotehigh achievement, while also engaging students ininquiry-based learning, had fallen flat. Student pro-ficiency at BART was unacceptably low. Rather thanthrow up their hands in despair, however, the educa-tors at the school worked to fully revamp both theirmodel and instructional methods. With a renewedcommitment to providing an excellent academiceducation wrapped in the context of developing21st-century skills—including creativity, teamwork,and problem solving—BART now stands as a modelof how a focus on arts can drive student mastery anda deep dedication to learning.BART in ContextBART is located in a former small business center,built as part of the endeavor to revitalize downtownAdams, Massachusetts. With its long history as amill town, Adams was once filled with shoe manu-facturers, brickyards, sawmills, cabinetmakers, andsmall machine shops. When the mills shuttered,residents hoped that either consumer electronics orthe region’s long history as home to craftspeople andartists would provide new streams of income. Butgrowth has been slow. In 2010, one in six young peo-ple was living beneath the poverty line in Adams,and the median household income hovered at halfthe average for the state.Against this background, BART was designedto be a “bridge” institution. Its students representthe link between an older Adams—where theirgrandparents and parents had held, and then lost,dependable, living-wage jobs in manufacturing—anda new Adams that harbors both the human capacityand the environment of innovation to incubate start-up companies and vital cultural organizations. ForBBBBBART relies on anexpanded school day andyear to help ensure that thearts play a central role inachieving excellence.this bridging to occur successfully, BART draws onits community’s deep respect for “things well made,”while, at the same time, encouraging its studentsto far surpass the basic high-school standards thatare no longer sufficient to support a family, sustaina career, or participate in the public sphere asinformed citizens. Since it opened in 2004, BARThas furthered its vision of using project-basedlearning featuring the arts and technology to helpstudents from Adams and nearby rural, westernMassachusetts acquire the skills they need for the21st century—innovation, teamwork, independentresearch, and critical thinking.
  • 18. 16 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationeducators to view the arts as centralto their efforts—a kind of conduitthrough which to revitalize and re-engage. As Julia Bowen, ExecutiveDirector of BART, explains:We looked at the young people wewanted to serve and realized that if westuck with a standard curriculum, few ofthem would be able to take advantage ofthe opportunities that were percolatingin the region—technology start-ups, tele-commuting for entrepreneurial firms inBoston and New York, and the arts or thecultural organizations that populate theBerkshires. If our students were goingto design for Apple from their desktopsin Adams, we had to look at an arts-richcurriculum. Creativity had to permeateour teaching; learning was going to haveto be a more collaborative experience;and students were going to have to learnto communicate orally and visually.With this vision as their foundation,BART’s faculty and administrationthen built an educational programto help realize this understanding ofthe school’s potential impact.Inquiry-Based LearningVery simply, BART runs on inquiry—a cross-disci-plinary, project-based approach to developing skillsand knowledge at once. BART teachers know that tobecome researchers and original thinkers, their stu-dents will need the capacity to apply, not just operate,technology—such as understanding the differentproficiencies needed to diagnose and treat a patient,developing energy legislation, or designing afford-able housing. These teachers want their students toread and communicate visually, interrogate maps,query databases, and explore documents.J. P. Henkle’s technology classes offer a good ex-ample. There, students don’t just learn software pro-grams for their own sake, spending valuable hourson software drills or raw keyboarding skills. Instead,Henkle gives assignments that demand these skills,wrapped inside a larger, inquiry-based project thatis also rooted in the development of artistic sensibili-ties. For instance, while learning to use digital cam-eras and work in Photoshop, students are asked toexplore two questions:a Where is there beauty in nature?a Is there beauty in the man-made world?Their answers take the form of large hallwaydisplays of student photographs of the surroundingBerkshire Hills landscape and of the crafted andmanufactured world. This same commitment toinquiry is evident not only in its specialized classes,BART Charter Public SchoolTo support this vision, BART’s school day hasbeen expanded, running from 8:00 am to 3:35 pm,followed by optional after-school classes and activi-ties; the school also has a school year that is 190days—two weeks longer than surrounding publicschools. The net result is that BART students have30 percent more learning time than their peers inlocal school districts. Beyond its commitment to ex-panding learning time, BART’s physical facility—its clusters of former offices set around a centralatrium—encourages a sense of constant activity.There’s an open space at the core that doubles aslunchroom and public meeting space, and radiatinghallways filled with student work that culminatein creative, energized classrooms. Throughout thebuilding, the focus on the arts—from graphic designand photography to poetry and music—acts to bindthe students to one another, to reinforce their shareddedication to high achievement and high expecta-tions, and to generate excitement about exhibitingand performing their work for the larger community.Committing to Arts LearningFrom the start, BART’s founders took seriously theidea that their school could become a key lever inadvancing not only their students’ lives, but also thebroader community. This perspective then led theseMonday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday7:45 – 8:00 Homeroom Homeroom Homeroom Homeroom Homeroom8:00 – 8:30 Advisory Advisory Advisory Advisory Advisory8:30 – 9:00 Fitness Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish9:00 – 9:309:30 – 10:00 Math Math Math Math Math10:00 – 10:3010:30 – 11:00 Englishlanguage arts(ELA)ELA ELA ELA ELA11:00 – 11:3011:30 – 12:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch12:00 – 12:30 Science Science Science Science Science12:30 – 1:001:00 – 1:30 Virtual HighSchool ( course)Virtual HighSchoolVirtual HighSchoolVirtual HighSchoolFitness1:30 – 2:002:00 – 2:45 AdvancedDigitalPhotographyMusic Indep.Study –ProductionAdvancedDigitalPhotographyMusic Indep.Study –ProductionAdv. Photog.2:45 – 3:00 Music Indep.Study –Production3:00 – 3:35BART Grade 11 Schedule (Sample)
  • 19. but also in BART’s more traditional academiccourses. For example, in a sixth-grade math class,students made videos, in which they “performed”geometric concepts like symmetry and rotation,against the grid of tiles in the school’s atrium, film-ing from the school’s second-floor balcony.Of particular note, BART secured funding fromthe National Endowment for the Arts for a multi-year project called “Asking Big Questions.” Duringthe 2011–12 school year, each eighth and eleventhgrader selected a local building or parcel of landand researched its history and uses over the last250 years. As part of the project, every student isdeveloping a set of investigative strategies matchedto their building or parcel. In the fall, students be-gan learning from visiting historians, architects,and librarians about how to unearth the history ofparticular places. They are learning to “read” theimplications of deeds, maps, and old photographs. Bypooling their findings in the second semester, eachclass then develops a deeper understanding of thehistory of the larger community of Adams and thesurrounding region.At the heart of the project stands an effort to en-gage young people in pursuing original questionsby tapping both their digital-arts and humanitiesskills. For BART students, their inquiries have led tolearning the region’s history, and also, because theseprojects are given the time they need to develop fully,multiple opportunities to reflect on their own capaci-ties as researchers and learners. An eighth graderdescribes the process:I’m researching a farm near my house where I alwaysplayed in the fields and the woods growing up. I wasalways curious about what it must have been like whenit was a real farm. To find out what I wanted to know, Iinterviewed a woman, now in her nineties, who is thelast living person to reside there. I also looked up oldmaps and realized how big the farm used to be.I walked all over the farmland. That’s how Idiscovered the heap of bricks that is now almostgrown over, which was the original brickyardthat made the bricks for the house. Doing this,I realized what kind of an investigator I am. Ilike doing things, like walking over the land,to satisfy my curiosity and to get a feel for howthings are.The process also works in what mightbe considered more traditional arts classes,where students are pushed to engage withcontent in ways that tap problem-solvingskills. Consider the class of Erin Milne, aformer music teacher at BART and now anadministrator and planner at the school, whoset out to prove that composing music is nota rare talent, but a universal form of humancommunication that is open to anyone whomakes the effort. In her foundations class, whichshe taught to all sixth graders, Milne introduced herstudents to world music, using the program “GarageBand” to help them analyze the music of differentcultures. For the culmination of the course, Milnedesigned an exploration of classical Indian music, in-viting students to work both individually—in “studiostyle”—and in small groups to develop their pieces.Reflecting on this project, Milne remarked, “Every-one composed a raga. No one quit or failed. I thinkthis demonstrates a key commitment at BART: Thearts are languages that, with effort and engagement,everyone can learn how to ‘speak’ well.” (See box,page 18, for “Indian Composition Assignment.”)Many BART teachers attest to the critical rolethat the arts play in making the case that effort canlead to excellence. This link is particularly strong forstudents who face major challenges to their achieve-ment and progress, either because of the lack ofpreparation they received in prior schools or becausethey have special needs. By helping them to developan academic identity and to see themselves as peoplewith experiences and ideas worth communicating,the arts enable these students to gain courage andself-awareness. Anna Bean, a BART high schoolEnglish language arts (ELA) teacher, recounts onesuch story:I have a student who is diagnosed with ADD and au-tism. His sometimes aggressive persona is not alwaysappropriate during the school day. But in drama class,I give him roles that tap into his rare ability to say andact upon what he feels. His last role was as Pozzo, thewhip-snapping, slave-driving master that Estragon andVladmir encounter in [the play] Waiting for Godot. Mystudent scared us all to death, which is exactly what thecharacter must do. And by venting appropriately duringthe scene, he was calmer afterward, almost to the pointof being serene.BBBB For many BART students, the arts provide thevehicles through which they come to strive for excellence.
  • 20. 18 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationFor many BART students, then, the arts provide thevehicles through which they come to understandand strive for excellence and the media that enablethem to express themselves with conviction.Staffing for the ArtsBART has a corps of highly talented individuals whowork with students as they participate in the arts.The school’s full-time faculty includes choral musicand visual art teachers who provide core instruction.Additionally, BART budgets annually for three orfour artists-in-residence who extend, particularlyat the high school level, the variety and sequence ofarts offerings the school can provide, including indigital photography and creative writing.BART educators also have found ways to thinkcreatively about part-time and composite positions tosupport an arts-rich curriculum.One of the English language artsteachers, for example, worksthree-quarters time in ELA andone-quarter in drama. Mean-while, the technology teacherwho maintains many of thedigital arts projects spends halfhis time in the classroom andhalf as IT director for the wholeschool. In addition to being cost-effective, this prac-tice enables many BART teachers to achieve balancein their educational and artistic lives. For instance,Curtis Asch, the sixth-grade mathematics teacherwho also offers slam poetry and writing for filmcourses in the after-school program, notes: “I movedback to the Berkshires and then into classroomteaching at BART because living here and workingat the school allowed me to be an educator, a work-ing artist, and a father all at once, without feelinglike I was skimping on any of those roles.” Not insig-nificantly, such arrangements also offer students anunderstanding of the role that the arts can play in anadult’s full life, whether that person is a professionalartist or a teacher with a creative side.Still, BART administration and faculty realize thatthe school’s emphasis on the arts and technologyitself must be balanced with the wide range of skillsthat young people also need to experience success inschool and beyond. Projects like “Asking Big Ques-tions” require skilled reading, close reasoning, andclear writing. Similarly, projects in math and sciencerequire calculation, number sense, and measure-ment. The arts and technology teaching positions,therefore, have important complements in a readingcoach, a mathematics tutor, special education roles atboth the middle- and high-school levels, and a direc-tor of instructional logistics (who designs and imple-ments the school’s internal and external assessments,including time for teachers to reflect on the implica-tions of results for instruction). In short, BART isBART Charter Public SchoolIndian CompositionAssignmentBy Erin Milne, (former) music teacherIn class this week, you will use Garage Band to composea piece of music in the style of a piece of classical musicfrom India. Follow the steps below:1 Open the starter file from Courses:• This file already contains the beginning of a dronepart.• BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, immediately save thisfile as Last in your documents folder.2 Expand the drone tracks so they last for theentire piece:• You may have to go back and adjust the length of thedrones as you write the piece.• Let the drone play by itself for the first 10 or so sec-onds of the piece.3 Select and record your raga:• Begin on any white key on the keyboard, and go up thenext seven.• Play around to find one you like that works with thedrone.• Your piece should start with about 30 seconds ofslowly going up and down your raga.• You may use any instrument you like; there is no sitarpatch on Garage Band.4 Add a tala part using loops:• These should start about 40 seconds into the piece.• They should start off simple and repeating at the be-ginning—use one and stick with it for a while beforeyou change it.• Loop ideas: Bongo Groove, Ceramic Drum, CongaGroove, Dumbek Beat, Indian Tabla—all of these willwork well.5 Make the raga part and the tala part more complicatedand faster:• Use loops to make your raga more interesting. Sugges-tions: Exotic Sarod, Middle Eastern Oud• Add more or different drum parts.• Add more instruments. Suggestion: Medieval Flute(close to a venu)6 Go back and make sure all the elements of your piecework well and sound good together. As long as yourpiece follows this format, it does not have to sound“Indian.” See the rubric on the back to know how youwill be graded. Remember to save your work often, onyour own student account. Have fun!bbbb At BART,making musicis considerednot a raretalent, but aform of humancommunicationopen to all.
  • 21. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 19like a well-made watch, where every part iscarefully crafted and connects to every otherpart—curriculum design, schedule, staffing,and funding are all vital, interlocking, integralcomponents of the whole.Connecting Students to the Wider WorldBART faculty members are keenly awarethat as their students grow up in a small townsituated in the midst of a rural area, theysometimes doubt that they can make it in thelarger, “outside” world and may limit theirexpectations prematurely. Erin Milne, the formermusic teacher (and now administrator), provides anexample of how the arts have linked her students torising expectations and to additional opportunities tolearn. She recalls:A number of my choral students wanted to try out forthe regional choir. They came back from those tryoutsshocked by how poorly they thought they did in thesight-reading portion. So we decided to add that to ourpractices. Every week, I built in a sight-reading exercise,with [the exercises] getting harder and harder over time.The students grew as they practiced and tried out again,a number of them successfully. Now, they’re singingwith that bigger choir, which I think is great for studentswho aren’t attending their local high school. It putsthem in the mix.Arts-based field trips take students out of class-rooms and into the community, helping them to de-velop a sense that they can and will be fully capableadults and citizens. ELA teacher Anna Bean tells oftaking her students to see a production of the play“Urinetown” at the Massachusetts College of LiberalArts (MCLA). She describes the impact:They absolutely loved the musical, which was well doneand featured a talk back with the [MCLA] students, di-rector, and designer. For weeks afterward, I heard fromstudents how it was the best theater they had seen….The best takeaway from the experience is that they sawstudents who hailed from the same towns as they didproducing high-quality work.Using Time WellFrom its inception, BART had a longer school day(from 8:00 am until 3:35 pm) and a longer schoolyear (by two weeks), enabling its students more timefor academic mastery and the integration of arts intothe curriculum. Even though BART administrationand faculty had designed their daily and weeklyschedules carefully and had thought hard about howa small charter school staffs such an ambitious pro-gram, they did not immediately achieve their aims.It took an all-out effort to “reset” their model beforethey could maximize the time dedicated to theirschool’s full, enriched program.BART is like a well-made watch,where every part is carefully craftedand connects to every other part.Taking Stock, Making AdjustmentsBART’s early results from the Massachusetts Com-prehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests weresobering: Students underperformed when com-pared to state averages and even when comparedwith schools in similar communities. At that point,BART’s arts-enriched curriculum and expandedlearning time were not yielding the measurable dif-ference that the school had sought.And so, BART’s leaders and faculty rethought theirfundamental assumptions about the ways in whichtheir curriculum was being implemented. They re-alized that the projects and expectations they haddesigned assumed a mastery of basic skills and a setof learner behaviors that many of their incomingstudents had never had the opportunity to developduring their elementary school years. Moreover, theeducators recognized that the level of arts integrationthey had envisioned was not possible, if the schoolwas to help students to attain academic proficiencywhile also developing their higher-order thinking invarious disciplines through targeted use of the arts.With this new insight and understanding, BARTfaculty went back to the drawing board and rede-signed every major aspect of the school’s functioningto strengthen fundamental academic instructionwithout losing the school’s commitment to the artsand technology. Their rethinking—centered on ashared determination to use school time wisely andwell—yielded transformative, school-wide results.The five components of the redesign include:a Restructuring the school day to incorporatemultiple blocks of independent learning time(ILT) that allow for tailor-made tutoring and/orindependent work designed to meet each stu-dent’s talents and interests;a having BART’s full-time arts faculty teach thecore curriculum to middle school students andadvanced projects through high school electives,and hiring visiting artists to teach additionalclasses to augment the overall arts offerings atthe school;a Initiating teacher-developed projectswithin academic disciplines that combine higher-order thinking and creative learning;
  • 22. 20 National Center on Time Learninga Establishing an after-school program, richin arts activities, that gives students and facultyadditional opportunities to pursue and teachtheir artistic passions in another setting; anda Offering three to four annual artist residen-cies, raising the school-wide investment in thearts to a new level.Together, these new structures and programs,along with the hires and residencies, have produceda more intentional and flexible schedule and calen-dar at BART. Principal Ben Klompus explains thatBART’s continued success since this restructuringtook hold is attributable, at least in part, to a con-scious cultural shift in the way that everyone at theschool now values time. He says:We work very hard to teach that time is a valuableand limited resource. Every minute shouldmatter. This is the way the faculty works andthe school works. As faculty, we make time fortargeted assessments that we study in orderto know what to assign for individual studentsand whole classes. We think hard about the de-sign of each trimester and the whole year.This considerable regard for time as aresource is evident throughout the school,down to the smallest details. For example,in each class, students get an overview ofthe purposes and goals of their assignmentsthat week, providing them with the build-ing blocks to complete larger projects. Then,within each class, teachers make and shareplans for how they will use every minute ofthe full period.A Day at BARTAt BART, each day is a successionof 90-minute blocks, across its7.5-hour day. The blocks rotatedaily, so that no one class alwaysgets the benefit of morning energyor is made to suffer through after-lunch slumps. Each day containsa block devoted to independentlearning time (ILT) that is carefullyused to meet individual students’learning needs (e.g., tutoring inmath, extra writing time for ahistory research paper, a groupcollaboration in biology, or anindependent animé project).All BART middle school studentshave a rotation of visual arts, mu-sic, and technology classes, whichguarantees that learners have thefundamentals in each arts area,irrespective of their individual aca-demic schedules. So, for example,even though an eighth grader might be taking ad-ditional support classes in math, she also would stillhave music for 150 minutes a week.For high school students, the BART school sched-ule includes electives in arts and technology (ratherthan required foundational courses) that rotateacross the school’s trimesters. By engaging schoolfaculty along with visiting artists, BART can providea wide variety of classes that allow older students topursue their arts interests in depth.BART’s school schedule does not end when thefinal bell rings each afternoon. The after-school pro-gram, taught by faculty and by local teaching artists,runs until 4:30. (About one-third of students par-ticipate in the after-school program at any one time,and almost all students end up participating duringthe year.) For students who need support, this extraFall 2011 ElectivesDrama 121:Intro to ActingTech 141:Communicating withTechnologyCreative Writing 152Poetry, Rap SpokenWordArt 211:Drawing IMusic 231:Music Listening AppreciationMusic 234:ChorusArt 441:AP Studio Art 2-DWinter 2012 ElectivesMusic 131:Intro to MusicNotation CompositionCreative Writing 151:Intro to CreativeWritingArt 212:Painting IArt 218:Exploring ThemeDrama 221:Intro to DirectingTechnology 341:Advanced DigitalPhotographyArt 441:AP Studio Art 2-DSpring 2012 ElectivesArt 111:Fundamentals ofDesign ColorDrama 225:An Evening of One-Acts by David IvesMusic 234:ChorusMusic 235:Intro to MusicNotationTechnology 241:Intro to Digital MediaCreative Writing255:From Script to ScreenArt 411:AP Studio ArtBART offers students a rich selection of electives in the arts:xBART Charter Public School
  • 23. National Center on Time Learning 21time is mandatory. There, they have a chance to dohomework and keep up with assignments, pursueindependent projects, and/or take additional struc-tured classes. BART arts also flourish during thisadditional hour. In the second trimester of 2011–12,BART’s after-school arts and related offerings in-cluded bucket drumming, dance/movement, pottery,and Lego robotics.To make this schedule happen, BART facultywork from 7:40 am–3:35 pm three days a week; theother two days, they work until 4:40 pm. One of theseadditional longer days is dedicated to professional de-velopment; the second additional longer day is spentleading an activity in the after-school program’s aca-demic support, fitness club, or open studios hostingthe arts. Some teachers opt to stay on for more after-school days, for which they are paid an hourly rate.As BART Executive Director Julia Bowen notes,these dedicated and optional additional hours alsoreflect, and have a further impact on, the environ-ment at BART:The culture of the school is one of all-out effort.We actually have the opposite problem from manyschools. We have to urge our faculty to be careful aboutstretching too far. As school leaders, we find ourselvescoaching for balance.Toward the FutureBART is not yet a decade old. Nevertheless, in thatshort time span, the school has demonstrated how,with expanded learning time, it is possible to put to-gether a curriculum that offers ample opportunitiesfor rigorous academics, arts, and technology. Signifi-cantly, BART has shown that this triple combinationcan produce strong returns for students. Considerthe following achievements in 2011:a BART was ranked in the top 5 percent ofschools in Massachusetts for raising studentachievement in English language arts (ELA),and in the top 6 percent for math, as measuredby the state’s MCAS exams.a More BART students earned the rank of profi-cient or advanced on the MCAS exams in everytested subject (ELA, math, and science) thanstudents in the two major districts from whichthe school draws.a BART received national recognition for theacademic growth of its students from the U.S.Department of Education–funded New LeadersEPIC (Effective Practice Incentive Community)program. Only 18 charter schools of 5,000 na-tionwide received this distinction.a EVEN Though just 20 percent of BART parentshad the opportunity to attend college, 100 percentof BART’s 2012 graduates have been acceptedto college.BARTArts Education at the Core:BART faculty members seek opportunities within academic classesto use various art forms, like theater and music, to drive studentstoward excellence.Organizing to Support Arts Education:BART hires three or four resident artists each semester to supple-ment and enhance the full-time teaching staff.The Power of Arts Education to Engage:School Highlight—BART’s “Asking Big Questions” project, fundedthrough a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is amultidisciplinary program through which students explore localhistory and draw upon a wide range of skills and interests.AdvancingArts EducationHaving proven its ability to enable high studentachievement, BART is looking ahead to its next setof challenges. Faculty and school leaders want tobegin to think hard about the “social-emotional”curriculum. They have seen how theater can giveusually quiet or emotionally challenged youngpeople a voice and a place in a community oflearners. These educators have witnessed howexhibitions and concerts can showcase youngpeople’s unknown talents and upend the acceptedperceptions of who is “smart,” “interesting,” or “cool.”Now, BART teachers and administrators are seekingto sharpen and intensify such learning in thesedomains.Members of the BART community are thinkingabout the role of the arts in the lives of teachers, too.As noted, many academic faculty also teach artselectives and after-school courses in the arts. Theyoften describe their arts teaching as personally vital,for it fuels their zest for teaching American historyor mathematics. Still, given the long day and year,the level of support provided to individual students,and the high academic expectations, a teacher’s lifeat BART is packed and demanding. The concernwith the current dual-role system is that teachers’arts activities might get sidelined by preparation,instruction, report writing, and/or meetingsassociated with their academic responsibilities.Standing as an additional worry is the possibilityof simple burnout. As a result, the administrationis working on streamlining the school’s systems forinterim assessments, grading, and reporting. Bymaking these systems lean and efficient, BART’seducators anticipate being able to leave moretime for the double-yield of arts learning—vitalengagement and positive outcomes for one and all. 
  • 24. 22 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationCASE2 Clarence Edwards Middle School❝The arts allowchildren toauthenticallyopen theirminds, expressthemselves,and produceachievementin many, manyways—beyondthe waysthat we canmeasure.”Leo Flanagan, Jr.,Principal, ClarenceEdwards MiddleSchoolThe“Sanctityof theArts”Connecting academics and enrichment tobecome a high-performing middle schoolBy almost any standard of measurement, before2006, the Clarence Edwards Middle School wasfailing. The long-struggling school, located in theCharlestown neighborhood of Boston, had postedsome of the lowest math scores in the city, while itsachievement in English language arts (ELA) alsowas far below the Massachusetts average. Inside theschool’s worn, red-brick building, faculty and studentmorale was low, and family engagement almostnonexistent. Concern grew that the Edwards, opensince the 1930s, was on the verge of being closed.Just three years later, however, this Boston schoolhad turned itself around. With test scores increasingin all subject areas, the school had raised its overallproficiency rates, narrowing and, in some subjectsand grades, even eliminating, achievement gaps withthe state, as it simultaneously delivered a far morewell-rounded education to every student. Quitesimply, by 2009, the Edwards stood as one of thehighest-performing middle schools in Boston. Aftertrying unsuccessfully for years to fill its classrooms,for the first time in its history, the Edwards had awaiting list, as families of fifth graders from all overthe city sought a slot in the incoming sixth-grade class.Boston, Massachusetts
  • 25. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 23BBBBFrom the diverseself-portraits that line thehallways to rehearsals forthe school musical, the artsare everywhere in evidenceat the Edwards.
  • 26. 24 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationHow did the Edwards Middle School galvanizethis dramatic academic turnaround and give rise toa new school culture that promotes excellence andengagement? The school facility had not changedsubstantially, nor had its student population seenmuch alteration to its basic demographic profile.Today, as in the past, a large majority (89 percent) ofEdwards students come from low-income families,while nearly 92 percent are minority. Instead, theEdwards changed by expanding its school day and,in so doing, was able to forge an innovative formulafor success—a steadfast commitment to providingstudents both a rigorous academic education anddeep learning opportunities in enrichment areas.The Edwards in ContextIn the fall of 2006, the Edwards became one of thepioneering Massachusetts public schools participat-ing in the state’s Expanded Learning Time Initiative(ELT). Motivated by strong new leadership and a re-invigorated teaching staff, and using the ELT grantof an additional $1,300 per pupil, the school beganto rebuild its day from the ground up, lengtheninginstructional hours until 4:20 each afternoon, fora total of 300 more hours of instruction time everyschool year. During SY2011–2012, the Edwards wasone of 19 Massachusetts ELT schools in 9 districtsacross the state, which togetherserved some 10,500 students. At eachMassachusetts ELT school, addition-al time during the school day opensa host of educational opportunities—more individualized, data-driveninstruction tailored to meet students’needs; greater teacher collaborationand the development of professionallearning communities; and an array of enrichmentprograms, often provided through partnerships withcommunity organizations and local artists. At theEdwards, expanded learning time has enabled theschool’s leaders to envision and implement a robustapproach to both academics and the arts—one thatredefines engagement and achievement in its classesand beyond.Practically and philosophically, the arts have beenan integral component of the Edwards expandedschool day since 2006. Citizen Schools, a nationalprogram that partners with middle schools in low-income communities to expand the learning day,was already offering a variety of after-school activi-ties to Edwards students. As Stephanie Edmeade,ELT Director at the Edwards, recalls, “When we be-came an ELT school, we decided that what we werealready doing in our after-school programs shouldbe integrated into the curriculum.” Today, CitizenSchools volunteer teachers, for example, lead a wideselection of 10-week “apprenticeships” for EdwardsDaily Schedule2011 – 20126th Grade7:15 – 7:30 Homeroom7:30 – 8:50 Specialty8:50 – 9:50 Core 19:50 – 10:50 Core 210:50 – 11:15 Lunch11:15 – 12:15 Core 312:15 – 1:15 Core 41:15 – 4:20 Academic Leagues/CitizenSchools (CS)7th Grade7:15 – 7:30 Homeroom7:30 – 8:30 Core 18:35 – 9:35 Core 29:40 – 11:00 Specialty11:00 – 12:00 Core 312:05 – 12:30 Lunch12:35 – 1:35 Core 41:40 – 2:40 Academic Leagues2:40 – 4:20 Electives w/CS8th Grade7:15 – 7:30 Homeroom7:30 – 8:30 Core 18:35 – 9:35 Core 29:35 – 10:00 Lunch10:05 – 11:05 Core 311:10 – 12:10 Core 412:15 – 1:35 Specialty1:40 – 2:40 Academic Leagues2:40 – 4:20 ElectivesStarting in2006, theEdwardsadded 300more annualhours ofinstruction.v
  • 27. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 25sixth graders—encompassing athletics, health andwellness, leadership, and science and technology, aswell as arts activities ranging from constructing andplaying musical instruments to yoga, a poetry slam,and a class on hip-hop and social change. Mean-while, dozens of other instructors, including schoolfaculty members and community-based providers,now offer to Edwards seventh and eighth graders anever-changing variety of arts-focused classes, plusadditional “specialties” in such subjects as physicaleducation, health, and computers.Today, arts education at the Edwards combineswith increased academic achievement as a vitalforce in the school’s rising reputation. During theEdwards winter recruitment event, for example,hundreds of Boston fifth-grade students and theirparents come to watch student cheerleaders, musi-cians, actors, dancers, and visual artists entertainthem. More than a performance, the event offersfamilies an introduction to the school and a chanceto assess how their own child might fit into whatis widely described as the Edwards’s “very positiveschool culture.” Every day, the energy of this culturereverberates through the classrooms, stages, stu-dios, and hallways of the Edwards. Born of a deepinstitutional belief in the multifaceted, educationalvalue of arts experiences, this culture also reflectsa wholehearted, enthusiastic commitment, on thepart of educators and students alike, to dedicate timeeach day to arts practice. Currently, the Edwards hasthree full-time arts faculty—teaching dance, theaterand chorus, and the visual arts, respectively—amongthe school’s eight “specialist” teachers.Committing to Arts LearningOver the two years he has served as the Edwardsprincipal, Leo Flanagan, Jr. has emerged as one ofthe school’s most passionate proponents of the role ofthe arts in education. He suggests the context for hiscommitment: “When you look at our standardizedtests, like the MCAS (Massachusetts ComprehensiveAssessment System), that have become so dominanta force, you see these tests only measure intelligencein a singular way.” In contrast, “The arts allowchildren to authentically open their minds, expressthemselves, and produce achievement in many,many ways—beyond the ways that we can measure.”The principal recognizes that it may be difficult todraw a direct connection between a commitment tothe arts and the school’s improving academic perfor-mance. For this reason, he believes, “It is courageousfor the school to dedicate such time and effort to ac-tivities whose benefits cannot easily be measured.”BBBB Everyday, the energy of this positive culture reverberates throughthe classrooms, stages, studios, and hallways of the school.
  • 28. 26 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationMaking Time for The ArtsOn a typical afternoon at the Edwards, the arts areeverywhere in evidence. In a visual arts classroom,where Top 40 music plays in the background, smallgroups of seventh and eighth graders are celebrat-ing Earth Day by collaboratively creating a flock ofgiant hummingbirds from recycled magazines andnewspapers. Down a hallway studded with studentart, step dancers are practically spilling out of twoadjacent classrooms as they hone the routines theywill present in a few weeks at a local college. At thesame time, in the school’s nearby basement theater,dozens of students are on the stage learning the lyr-ics and the choreography for “Good Morning Balti-more,” the opening number of Hairspray, the 1960s-style Broadway musical that they will perform forthe school’s other students, their own families, andmembers of the Charlestown community.Undergirding and framing this wide range of artsactivities is the Edwards Middle School’s expandedday. When, in 2006, the Edwards joined the state’sExpanded Learning Time Initiative,the school’s leaders envisioned a well-rounded education that would dedicatetime to both academics and to the studyand practice of the arts in many forms.Consequently, all Edwards students havea designated 80-minute period for arts“specialties” in the first half of the dayand then conclude each afternoon with a1 hour 40 minute perioddevoted to one electivepursuit. For this period,some choose to immersethemselves in sports likeswimming or tennis; oth-ers take classes in engi-neering, math, financialliteracy, or foreign lan-guages; still other studentsdo community outreachand service. Meanwhile, asignificant portion of students select fromthe array of visual and performing artsactivities—extending from animé, archi-tecture, and fashion design through con-cert and rock band, to ballet and breakdancing. Together, these arts and enrich-ment opportunities are woven into anacademic day that features an hour eachof English, math, science and social stud-ies, as well as the Edwards “AcademicLeagues”—the individualized, tiered aca-demic support all students receive.Edwards educators agree that theirschool’s meaningful embrace of the artswould not be possible without the ex-panded school day. In turn, many of theseeducators say their school’s significant commitmentto the arts has re-engaged their students in learn-ing and transformed their own teaching role. CindyMcKeen, who has taught theater, chorus, and musi-cal theater at the Edwards since 1999, paints compel-ling before-and-after pictures:Before the expanded day, theater was just the placewhere kids would come to vent and use their voice to saywhat they needed to say in a way that would make youlisten…. Now, with expanded learning, students have theopportunity to come to theater very prepared and want-ing to do well. As a result, I’ve had to change the way Iteach—my students now are ready to learn.Valuing Choice in the ArtsAlong with having more time, which enables a dailydouble dose of arts-oriented learning, the educatorshere claim the element of choice is fundamental tothe flourishing of the school’s arts program. Twice ayear, Edwards students choose which apprenticeship“Name that Beat”by Emily Bryan, English language arts (ELA) teachername that beat is a PowerPoint game in which students listen to popularhip-hop, rock, and pop music (beats only) while reading a few lines of thelyrics to the song. Each set of lines is presented on a slide with pictures ofthe artist and a countdown timer. Every slide contains multiple examplesof figurative language and sound devices that the students, working ingroups, must identify. They receive extra points for naming the artists. The music and PowerPoint slides play for two minutes each, duringwhich time students work with their peers to analyze the lyrics. When themusic stops, everyone must be silent, and a name is pulled out of a hat. Thestudent whose name is pulled provides all the answers the group hasgenerated, while also explaining his/her own thinking. For example, thestudent should say something like: “‘I’m an itch they can’t scratch’ is a lineby Eminem, and it’s a metaphor because it is comparing him to somethingelse—an itch—without using the words ‘like’ or ‘as.’”Because it engages every type of learner at every proficiency level, thisis a very effective classroom game. Students who are shy to contribute, orare hard to engage, become excited and contribute their knowledge of mu-sic to the group, while they listen to and learn from the more advanced stu-dents, who focus on tutoring everyone in the group when a name is pulled. Students are asked to identify similes, metaphors, personification, idi-oms, hyperbole, alliteration, repetition, rhyme, onomatopoeia, etc., for thefollowing artists/lyrics:% “Baby, you’re a firework, come on, let your colors burst, make ‘em go‘oh, oh oh,’”—Katie Perry% “Coming from the deep black like the Loch Ness, now I bring apoca-lypse like the Heart of Darkness”—Talib Kweli% “You’re my devil, you’re my angel, you’re my heaven, you’re my hell,you’re my now, you’re my forever, you’re my freedom, you’re my jail”—Kanye West% And many more….Clarence Edwards Middle SchoolCreatingpowerfulconnections,learning, andengagementthrough songsthat capturea moment orgive voice toa deeply-feltemotionv
  • 29. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 27or elective they will participate in during the after-noons. This selection process allows these studentsto discover, experiment, and pursue their passions.“The students are empowered by the arts choicesthey make,” explains Principal Leo Flanagan. “Somekids, who are particularly confident, will choose anactivity they’re not good at, because they want to tryit. Most will look for some way to shine during theday.” ELT Director Stephanie Edmeade says thathaving these choices, plus the longer enrichment pe-riods to develop their selections, nurtures a “pipelineof kids” who forge their own trails through the arts:While we will always have generalists, many studentsdiscover their niche when they find something theylove and that continues to attract them. This is how theylearn—being chosen for the play, getting really big parts,being named captain of the step team, being first chairin band, becoming the best in our school.Muñeca, an eighth grader who will join several ofher Edwards classmates at Boston Arts Academy(BAA), a prestigious audition-based public highschool, personifies this progression toward success.Although generally only older students are admittedto the Edwards band, Muñeca recounts, “Somehow,I sneaked into band class in sixth grade, and that’swhere my music passion started. Then I came intoconcert band, then rock band, and so I became abassist.” Her deep involvement with musichas brought Muñeca additional, perhapsunanticipated, rewards:I learned how to communicate by playing in anensemble. If you don’t communicate or knowyour part, you will clash with the others. Youalso get connected with other students and toyour teachers through music because you sharea passion…. Now, when I come home fromschool, I often practice the whole rest ofthe day.Cindy McKeen has witnessed first-hand how giving her students the timeand space to explore their passionsbuilds their self-confidence. In par-ticular, McKeen emphasizes the arts’special gift to students who are eager to com-municate and express their own ideas:When you teach students to use their voices—toconnect what they’re thinking to what they wantto say to make you listen—they begin to feelconfident in what they’re doing…. This takes a lotof courage, especially in middle school. Our step-pers, our cheerleaders, our poets, our singers, ourmusicians—they learn they can handle anything.McKeen’s words resonate when her stu-dents are asked about the pivotal role of theEdwards arts programming in their lives. AsYvonne, another BAA-bound eighth grader, attests:My favorite class is musical theater. Ever since sixthgrade, when I auditioned for Grease, musical theater hastaught me how to feel comfortable and communicatewith others. It makes me feel good just being there, likeI’m home. I come to school and do my work, but I can’twait to get to theater and express who I am and show myreal personality.Aubriana, an eighth grader who is captain of thestep dancing team this year and who also has partici-pated in musical theater, agrees:Musical theater has opened me up and made me moreoutgoing. Now acting is a safety net for me. When I getupset, acting or stepping helps me to overcome the angeror what makes me sad, and makes me feel better.Using Time WellOne of the secrets to the success of arts educationat the Edwards is a certain fluidity in the teachingapproaches and a readiness to share lessons learnedin the arts across all the disciplines. Indeed, theEdwards is a place of permeable boundaries—whereparticipation in the arts opens new possibilitiesin academic classrooms while the cooperative,collaborative learning that takes place in coresubject areas shapes and strengthens artistic andBBBBI don’twant prettypictures.... Iwant work thatrequires somethought.”
  • 30. 28 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationother enrichment activities as well. “This is such aconnected school where all the pieces work, and itcreates a really great balance,” says Cindy McKeen.Even more significantly, Edwards arts and academicteachers are committed to helping their studentspursue the same learning goals on the stages andin the studios as they do across the school’s science,math, and English classrooms.Building Cross-Curricular ConnectionsCreative collaborations among teachers from differ-ent disciplines also produce a strong sense of com-mon purpose among the academic and arts facultymembers and widespread school support for a vari-ety of student endeavors. Last summer, for example,Emily Bryan, a sixth-grade English language arts(ELA) teacher and grade team leader, collaboratedwith technology teacher Heather Campanella tocreate a multimedia, cross-disciplinary, sixth-gradeunit on the music, visual art, history, literature, andculture of the Great Depression.Such two-way exchanges flow in both directionshere, as academic teachers welcome the infusion ofthe arts into their classrooms, while arts teachersfrequently ask students to contextualize their artisticendeavors in such disparate subjects as Americanhistory, bird biology, the vocabulary words found onstandardized tests, and international current events.Before she began rehearsals for this year’s springproduction, for instance, Cindy McKeen workedwith some of the social studies teachers to introduceher actors to U.S. race relations during the early CivilRights era so they could appreciate what she calls“the history of Hairspray.” McKeen recounts:They had to know this play comes out of ’60s Baltimoreand to understand the history and the language of thetimes. I tell them, “Here are the costumes, sets, make-up—everything you need to feel good about what you’redoing on stage, but you need to do the backup work, too.”Moreover, both academic and arts teachers at theEdwards feel empowered to bring the outside worldinto classroom encounters and explorations, creatinga more holistic educational experience overall. ShariMalgieri, the school’s visual arts teacher and arts/specialty team leader, offers a prime example. Asher students develop their art projects, Malgieri en-courages them to conduct research—like looking upornithological anatomy and recyclable materials fortheir giant hummingbirds—using the computers inher art classroom. Sometimes her students use cam-eras and other multimedia apparatuses for their cre-ations. To make animated movie dictionaries of themost common words appearing on the MCAS tests,for example, Malgieri’s seventh-grade filmmakersfirst had to find and identify these words, and then“translate” them visually using stop-motion photog-raphy, before presenting their definitions in the formof “mini-movies.” Malgieri holds high expectationsfor each student’s performance. “I don’t want prettypictures,” she says. “I want work that requires somethought.”Meanwhile, students’ involvement in, and ap-preciation of, the arts also opens up new points ofentry for academic teaching. Emily Bryan reportshow drama came to play a pivotal role in her sixth-grade ELA curriculum. “Because of the Edwardstheater program, students here know how to readdrama, understand stage directions, andcharacterize someone in a play,” shesays. “They can have critical discussionsabout this genre of literature.” Their per-formance experiences give her studentsthe confidence to “articulate and expressthemselves and be less shy about doingoral presentations in class.” And, Bryanbelieves, this enriched learning may alsohave a positive impact on her students’ELA standardized test scores.Music, which figures so prominentlyin the lives of many of Bryan’s students,has further inspired her to develop a newapproach to teaching poetry. “Name That Beat,” heroriginal PowerPoint game, invites students to listento current popular music so that they can begin toidentify, understand, and analyze poetic rhythm,figurative language, and sound devices. Using songsthat capture a moment or give voice to a deeply-feltemotion, this interdisciplinary activity,creates a pow-erful platform for student connection, learning, andengagement. (See “Name That Beat” in box, page 26.)Making Real the Commitment toHigh-Quality Arts EducationTwo additional components—one practical, theother philosophical—are essential to the implemen-tation and enduring impact of arts education at theEdwards. First, to make available a rich array ofarts offerings and to enable students to learn fromauthentic artists, the school partners with some 75different community organizations and individuals.From Boston Ballet to a local yoga studio, from theClarence Edwards Middle SchoolEdwards teachers help students pursuethe same learning goals on stages and instudios as in their academic classes.
  • 31. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 29From the opening of theschool year in Septemberuntil completing the laststandardized test in May,our students pay closeattention to domestic andinternational headlines,current events, contempo-rary media, pop culture,modern topics of contro-versy, accomplishments,and loss. Together, studentscompile lists of the ninemonths of events, articles,drawings, and photographsthat will forever remindthem of their eighth gradeat the Edwards MiddleSchool. As a class team,they sift through the pilesof memories to collabora-tively draft and design acohesive piece of artworkthat captures one full yearof their history on canvas.Beyond the visual illustra-tions that students care-fully render, conversationsto clarify notable disputesarise and controversies sur-face. These issues encour-age mature discussionsabout awareness, values,perspectives, and beliefs ofpeople from all differentnations.Procedures1 All students contribute to compile one list that names as many memorableevents of the school year as possible. Students refer to newspapers and magazinesand rely heavily on the Internet for research, facts, and details.2 Students each choose and illustrate one topic from the school year.3 Students hang their drawings, so we can compare and contrast similarities toplan a main theme for the mural.4 Once a theme is agreed upon, it is back to the drawing board to tailor the illustra-tions to the theme.5 Each student participates and contributes their artwork to the large canvas.6 Students work rigorously, with the highest amount of care and attention, up untilthe last day of school. The final result is a large scale “Time Capsule” that repre-sents their life during their last year of middle school.All sketches, drafts, and articles are essential to collect and keep. Theseitems represent the process needed to accomplish great things. The displayedsketches also illustrate achievements through collaboration.The EdwardsMiddle SchoolTime Capsule:A MuralProjectby Shari MalgieriVisual arts teacherSample Events included in the 2011-2012 MuralAccomplishments• New World Trade Centerconstruction markingthe 10-year anniversaryof 9/11• Edwards Middle SchoolFootball Team defendsthe Championshipvictory• Edwards Middle SchoolCheerleaders areawarded 1st placeControversial• Trayvon Martin• Secret Service scandalInternational• Syria• Gaddafi• Bin LadenLocal• Occupy Boston• Hurricane Irene• Western Tornadoes• October SnowstormAdditionalAnniversaries• 100-year anniversary ofTitanic• Fenway ParkRespects/Losses• Whitney Houston• Amy Winehouse• Dick Clark• Steve JobsSports• Patriots make it to theSuper Bowl• Tim TebowEntertainment• Kim Kardashian’s 72-dayWedding• Justin Bieber’s “LoveChild”• Beyonce delivers herbaby• Adele delivers her giftsthrough song• The Hunger Games movieChinese New Year• Year of the Rabbit (2011)• Year of the Dragon (2012)BBBBA cohesive pieceof artwork that capturesone full year on canvas2010-2011 Edwards Middle School Time Capsule
  • 32. Bird Street Community Center to an independentfashion designer, these partners provide meaningfulencounters and experiences with the arts that are asdiverse as students’ interests.These enrichment partners can be grouped intofour categories:1 Edwards staff who teach the arts or anaca­demic subject during the core school day andcontinue to “play that role” during the expandedafternoon2 Citizen Schools, the national organizationwhose teacher volunteers lead the Edwards sixth-grade apprenticeships3 Umbrella organizations, such as the Bird StreetCommunity Center, that subcontract with eitherindividual experts and/or niche organizations4 Particular individuals or organizations thatcontract directly with the schoolManaging these disparate relationships is “a keypiece” to the success of the arts at the school, accord-ing to Principal Leo Flanagan. This managementincludes endeavoring to hold the external educatorsto the same expectations for high-quality instructionthat all school faculty are expected to meet, withthe goal of ensuring that an Edwards arts educationexemplifies the highest possible caliber. Perhapsmost significantly, like all deep commitments, thisdedication to the arts also draws strength from acomponent that is not written into any contract. It’sa through-line, a fundamental element based on con-viction and belief. Flanagan calls this element “thesanctity of the arts”:Early on, a philosophical clarification was necessary.We said that these two blocks for the arts each day aresanctified times, and we’re going to live with that. So, if astudent is having trouble in math one morning, the mathteacher can’t decide not to send them to step dancing orBoston Ballet that afternoon. We don’t take away the artshere; that doesn’t exist…. Because we really believe thatthese kids are entitled to these arts experiences, we’recontinually holding that line—the sanctity of the arts inour world.Honoring this commitment, the school’s eightarts/specialty teachers are full-time members of thefaculty. Moreover, arts classes are not considered anextra, to be squeezed in between higher priorities oras the incentive in a “carrot-stick” connection wherethe value is placed squarely on students’ academicperformance. Instead, as Edwards ELT DirectorStephanie Edmeade points out, “Whenever there’s atug and pull between academics and the arts, we tryto respect both.” Edmeade gives an example:If we have a student who is the lead in a play but failingin class, then a conversation clearly needs to take place….But, in the end, the student gets to do the play, and all thestudents get to do the arts between 2:40 and 4:20, almostregardless.Proactively, at the end of the school year, Edmeadeasks teachers to identify students who may havestruggled in academics while distinguishingthemselves in the arts. Together, the educatorsbrainstorm ways to “target” and help these studentsfind more broad-based success in the fall. As ELAteacher Emily Bryan says, “We want to collaborateto provide these kids with as many supportsas possible.” Principal Flanagan sums up theoverriding message about arts education for everyEdwards student: “The power of our program is thatwe genuinely believe these kids have the right tohave these arts experiences.”Connecting with the Wider Worldthrough ArtsThe permeable boundaries within the Edwardsalso extend outward, beyond the school’s visiblewalls. Perhaps nowhere is this atmosphere morepalpable than in Shari Malgieri’s visual arts class-room, where each day she invites her students todiscover new places and ways of learning. Malgieridescribes the scene:I let them sit with their friends, and the music goes on,and I play DJ, and it all comes up—about stress andparents and girlfriends, teachers, bullying, and what-ever the hot topic of the week may be in the news—and gets addressed. It’s really a different place thananywhere else at school…where they come to talk,produce, and connect.Every spring, Malgieri’s eighth graders put theirmost far-reaching thoughts into the conception,design, and production of a culminating project.The Edwards Middle School Time Capsule is aClarence Edwards Middle SchoolBBBB“We genu-inely believe thesekids have the rightto have these artsexperiences.”
  • 33. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 3115-17 foot-long mural that merges individual self-expression with selected current events from thepast school year to present the students’ sharedperspective on the world and their place in it. Frompop culture to international conflict, from natural di-sasters to local news, these graduating artists collab-oratively create a memorable work that captures andchronicles their time at the Edwards, and that standsas an enduring testament to their education in thearts. (See “Time Capsule” in box, page 29.)Toward the FutureOverall, the signs of success, resulting from an ex-panded day enriched by the arts, are everywhere inevidence at the Edwards—from individual studentachievement and eighth graders’ high acceptancerates at Boston Arts Academy and the city’s com-petitive exam schools to the noteworthy caliber ofthe Edwards’s arts exhibitions and performances.The 2010–11 Boston Public Schools Student Climatesurvey rated the Edwards more highly than othermiddle schools for identification with, and overallperceptions of, school, as well as for principal andteacher effectiveness and student enthusiasm forlearning.This enthusiasm, especially, can be heard in thevoices of Edwards students. Arielle, an eighth-gradedancer and guitarist, attests, “The arts are a moti-vation and a passion that everyone at this schoolshares.” Adds her classmate Yvonne, “This schoolis like my second home, and our arts teachers arewonderful. They help me to build up my strength, toexpress myself, and to think about my future.” AndJonathan, another eighth-grader, declares, “Before Icame to this school, I used to do nothing—just home-work and watched TV all day…. Being able to be inmusical theater changed my life!”Still, as many here acknowledge, excelling inboth academics and the arts at high levels, over thecourse of a longer day, can be challenging; in theaterteacher Cindy McKeen’s words, such efforts “requiretremendous stamina.” Finding individual successin the arts, as in other endeavors, takes an enduringcommitment, McKeen says, adding, “That may beEdwardsTheArts Education at the Core:Educators at the Edwards believe in what the principal calls “thesanctity of the arts,” meaning that time in arts classes is not treatedas a reward for doing well academically, nor can it be taken away tomeet academic needs; instead, participation in the arts is treated asa right of every student.Organizing to Support Arts Education:In addition to its highly skilled, full-time arts faculty, the schoolboasts dozens of partnerships with organizations and individuals—from the extensive apprenticeships with Citizen Schools to hiringparticular artists—that enhance the arts curriculum.The Power of Arts Education to Engage:School Highlight—“Name that Beat,” an interactive, collaborativesixth-grade English lesson, integrates pop music with literacy skills.AdvancingArts Educationthe secret—long hours, hard work, and not stop-ping.... I never want to hear, ‘Oh that was good for amiddle school’; I want to hear, ‘That was fantastic!’”How to continue to elevate expectations andachieve greater rigor in the arts is also the challengefacing the Edwards Middle School overall. Towardthis goal, the principal and the members of the arts/specialty team have been developing a rubric forteaching and learning in this arena. The rubric willidentify how students can move from simply be-ing “present” to demonstrated proficiency in skillstaught during arts classes. Students will be assessedin four categories: class preparation, participationand perseverance, collaboration and cooperation,and reflection. To reach the highest level in eachcategory, students will need to perform the requisiteskills, using the correct cues and without reminders.At the Edwards, Flanagan says, “We’re not just‘exposing’ students to the arts; that’s my least favoriteword for it. Instead, we want to see excellence inthe arts. I think we have to insiston it.” And while they cannotalways trace a direct line fromtheir commitment to the artsand their school’s impressiveacademic performance, thisprincipal, along with the staff,teachers, and students here,express the conviction thatproviding an expanded, well-rounded education is a continuingand essential element in theEdwards’s success.“Before I came to this school, I usedto do nothing—just homework andwatched TV.... Being able to be inmusical theater changed my life.”
  • 34. 32 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationCASE3 Metropolitan Arts and Technology Charter High School (Metro)❝We have fouryears to takeour studentsfrom whatmay be weakor unevenskills to beingcollege-ready.Motivation iseverything.The arts,combined withtechnology,are an instantentry point.”NickKappelhoff,Principal,MetroPreparingStudentsforthe21st CenturyPresenting challenging content and honingstudents’ digital and performance skillsSan Francisco, Californiathe Metropolitan Arts and Technology CharterHigh School (Metro) sits atop a peak in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. Fromthere, “You can see forever”—the bay, the bridges, andthe skyline are all postcard sharp. And there isanother “forever,” as well, on this campus—thehorizon of educational opportunity. As part ofthe Envision Education network of California highschools, Metro promotes a system of rigorousacademics, enriched by the arts. Across this network,nine out of ten students are attending and persistingin college—irrespective of their previous schoolhistories or family incomes, or the challenges of theirpersonal backgrounds.These students’ success is sparked by the motivatingpower of arts and technology, combined with project-based learning. “On the books,” Metro features a daythat is, on average, about seven hours long—the equiv-alent in total hours to that of other high schools in thisdistrict. Yet, with the addition of some of the school’srequired elements, like exhibitions and internships,Metro students spend more time in formal learningenvironments than most of their San Francisco peers.
  • 35. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 33The real genius of Metro’s approach is how theschool uses its scheduled time creatively and tomaximum effect. Here, well-designed units of studyenable teachers to present challenging contentwhile developing students’ digital and performanceskills. An ongoing portfolio system rivets studentand faculty attention to growth over time. A “studioculture” encourages students to come in early andto stay after school to invest in and complete theirongoing projects in order to meet a high standardof excellence. Exhibitions of student work, coupledwith placements and internships in the community,build the expectation that learning can and shouldbe a 24/7 enterprise. The net result is a school whereyoung people are motivated to set goals, invest timeand effort, and acquire both the foundational skillsthey may lack and the creative and critical skills thatwill make them effective thinkers, who are capableof being successful in college, career, and life.Metro in ContextMetro is situated in, and surrounded by, an areawith a troubled history. Located at the southeast-ern extreme of the city, the Bayview-Hunters Pointneighborhood has often been marginalized—first asButcherstown, home to slaughterhouses zoned out-side San Francisco proper, then as the site of heavyindustrial enterprises and shipyards up through theyears of World War II. While these enterprises pro-vided working incomes for African-American andother minority families, rapid de-industrialization,the loss of jobs, and environmental decay due to ra-dioactivity and industrial wastes created what theauthor James Baldwin called “the San FranciscoAmerica pretends does not exist.” From the 1960sthrough the 1980s, Bayview-Hunters Point becamethe poorest and most dangerous area of the city,where young people often grew up suffering fromhealth problems, substance abuse, exposure to gangs,and poor public schools. Beginning in the 1990s,though, residents and the city began an effort tobring the neighborhood back—with public transpor-tation, the first supermarkets providing fresh food,community gardens, and affordable housing.Founded in 2005, Metro is an integral part of thisneighborhood effort. The school is housed on theGloria R. Davis campus, named for the San Fran­cisco educator, city commissioner, and politicalactivist who devoted her teaching career to helpingchildren achieve academic excellence. Metro is thearea’s first high school, signaling the city’s recogni-tion of the role of strong public education in the com-munity’s revitalization. The school is clearly “of theneighborhood”—75 percent of Metro’s students areeligible for free and reduced-price lunch, and most ofBBBBA “studio culture” encourages students tocome in early and stay after school to invest inand complete their work to meet a high standard.
  • 36. 34 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationthe students are minority (50 percent Latino, 30 per-cent African-American, and only 10 percent White).The majority of Metro’s students entering ninthgrade perform below grade level.While the school’s standardized test scores havespiked and fallen from year to year, college-goingdata make it clear that Metro and its fellow Envisioncharter schools do well by their students.* To gradu-ate, every Envision student has to meet the require-ments for entering the state’s college and universitysystem, making them eligible for the best publicpost-secondary education in the state. (Statewide,only 25 percent of students meet these criteria.)These high expectations reflect the view of Metroeducators, like those in other Envision schools, thattheir school must be responsible for the lifetime out-comes of its graduates.Committing to Arts LearningMany high schools respond to low ninth-gradeperformance by enrolling students needingadditional support in double periods of remedialmath and reading, a strategy that often eliminatesthe possibility of elective courses, such as those inthe arts. Metro educators, however, share the strongbelief that arts and technology can provide studentswith both the needed skills and the challenges thatwill engage them in learning literacy and numeracy.By adopting a thoughtful, creative, and adaptableapproach to using time well, Metro achievesthis dual focus on academics and the arts, whileoperating within the same basic time frame as otherSan Francisco high schools.The schedule itself reflects this resourcefulapproach to time use. On Monday and Tuesday,when energy is high and assignments are new,the school day runs from 8:30 am–3:50 pm. Then,on Wednesday, the regular school day ends at1:15, allowing for staff meetings and a mandatorythree-hour block for out-of-school learning projects(service learning in grades 9 and 10; work placelearning in grades 11 and 12). These projects meanthat on Wednesdays, the learning day effectivelyends after 4:00. On Thursdays and Fridays, schoolruns from 8:30 am–3:10 pm. Throughout the week,there are regular “advisory” classes, where facultyadvisors support students in keeping up, settinggoals, and managing their time on a variety of long-term projects. Students can also meet with peers and* Metro is one of eight high schools of the Oakland-based Envision Education,which was founded in 2002 by Bob Lenz and Daniel McLaughlin. Each Envisionschool embeds rigorous college-preparatory curricula and personalized learningenvironments within a model that emphasizes project-based learning, develop-ment of 21st-century skills, integration of arts and technology into core subjects,real-world experience in workplaces, and a rigorous assessment system. EnvisionEducation operates four college-prep charter public high schools in the Bay Areathat together serve 1,300 students, including 60 percent who are first-generationcollege bound students, 42 percent who are African-American students, 36 per-cent who are Latino students, and 61 percent low-income students. mon tue wed thu fri8:30 - 9:40 8:30 - 9:35 8:30 - 10:10 8:30 - 10:10 8:30 - 9:40Algebra 1 Drama Algebra 1 Physics Drama9:40 - 10:459:45 - 10:55 GlobalLiterature9:45 - 10:55English GlobalLiterature10:10 - 10:30 10:15 - 11:55ExtendedbreakGlobalLiterature10:35 - 12:1510:50 - 11:55 English11:00 - 12:10 Physics 11:00 - 12:10Physics Physics11:55 - 12:25 11:55 - 12:2512:10 - 12:40 Lunch Lunch 12:10 - 12:40Lunch 12:20 - 1:15 Lunch12:30 - 1:30 Advisory /seminar12:30 - 2:1012:45 - 1:20 Advisory /seminarDrama 12:45 - 1:55Advisory /seminarEnglish1:25 - 2:35 1:45 - 4:45GlobalLiterature1:35 - 2:40 Servicelearning(students)Prof.Develop-ment(staff)English2:00 - 3:102:15 - 3:10 Algebra 1Advisory /seminar2:40 - 3:50Drama 2:45 - 3:50Algebra 1Metro’sWeekly Schedulefor Grade 9Metropolitan Arts and Technology Charter High School (Metro)The schedule itself reflects the school’sresourceful approach to time use.j
  • 37. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 35a shared faculty advisor during 35-minute advisoryperiods and 30-minute lunch breaks. The order ofclasses rotates through the week, so that no onesubject is too frequently affected negatively by latearrivals or late-afternoon drowsiness.the Arts as coreAt Metro, the arts are required, not optional. More-over, these requirements begin in the ninth grade,when every student must take a performing artsclass in order to engage them in classroom andschool life. Principal Nick Kappelhoff explains therationale:We see this performing arts class as the most powerfulway to get [young people] to form an individual academicidentity. The course gets them up on stage, speakingout, collaborating, contributing to scripts, and makingproduction decisions. But this is not your regular theaterclass where they are putting on Shakespeare or The Wiz.Everything they do is connected to the content that theyare studying.Using a similar strategy, all Metro tenth gradersare required to take an introductory digital arts class.The school’s educators know that their students willneed an array of digital tools for conducting andpresenting their projects, and that they should beginto think about how to find, evaluate, and synthesizeexisting information and how to create, format, andpresent original thinking. In this class, all studentsnegotiate a series of increasingly challenging projectassignments. According to digital arts teacherPhyllis Wong, these assignments include:a Creating and uploading a bloga Making a short video that addresses the ques-tion “What makes me happy?”EnvisionEducationviews creativework asessential toevery student’ssuccess.v
  • 38. 36 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationa Composing and editing an audio track that isan original song about a major math concepta Designing, editing, and formatting a posterhighlighting a specific form of technologya Making a short movie, done in conjunctionwith the world history class, portraying two con-trasting perspectives from the World War II eraBeyond this basic digital arts course, many Metrostudents enroll in advanced arts courses. In fact, oneof the ways in which Metro signals the importanceof the arts is by creating a sequential pathway forthis kind of learning throughout the four years ofhigh school. Additionally, every year, these studentscontinue to be involved in cross-disciplinary projectsthat call on their performance and digital arts skills.Portfolios: Growth Over TimeMetro structures learning around the developmentof student portfolios. In fact, portfolios and exhibi-tions of student work provide the evaluative basis forpromotion from tenth to eleventh grade at Metro andfor graduation itself. At each of these levels, in addi-tion to taking and passing their required academiccourses, the students have to present and defend abody of work that demonstrates their mastery of aset of five school-wide standards, including creativeexpression. A page from the school’s portfolio hand-book, taken from the Envision Education model,BBBBMetro studentshave to present anddefend a body of workthat demonstratestheir mastery of a setof five school-widestandards.
  • 39. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 37makes clear that Metro educators view creative workas essential to every student’s success. (See “CreativeExpression Performance Task” in box, page 35.)†To help advance their efforts, Metro structures in-dividual classes as deliberate progressions in whicheach assignment builds on prior learning. Again,Wong’s Introduction to Digital Media offers a primeexample. The entire course is organized around anongoing essential question: “How do you harnessdigital technology to communicate effectively?”Every module within the course is an opportunityfor students to revisit this fundamental question bymeeting a series of different, and increasingly dif-ficult, challenges. For each module, there is a list ofskills to master in a specific digital format, and stu-dents have the responsibility to generate a finishedproduct. Even for the entry-level assignment of writ-ing a blog, they are expected to work on skills theywill continue to use throughout the course—such asnavigating basic Mac 101, keyboarding, and develop-ing an understanding of how mastheads, sidebars,pages, and archives work in the world of blogging.This combination of explicit and high expectationsmeans that even students who are new to computers,or wholly dependent on the machines and softwareavailable to them at school, can produce sophisti-cated and compelling digital projects.Here, and at the end of every Metro course,students draw from their final projects to buildtheir “body of evidence.” At the end of tenthgrade, for example, students present their workto a panel of their peers, school faculty members,and outside jurors to demonstrate that they havemade substantial progress toward graduationrequirements and are ready to enter the upperdivision of the school. If their work is not judgedproficient, students must return to the drawingboards—re-selecting, editing, and sharpening theirproducts for a second jury. As one of the schoolmantras indicates: “Work hard. Succeed. Repeat.”The same process occurs again as students prepareto graduate.Deepening EngagemenT: Arts IntegrationAt Metro, academic and arts faculty members con-tinually strive to balance traditional literacy skills,† Envision Schools and Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity.(2011). Envision Schools’ College Success Portfolio Handbook: A Performance Assess-ment Model for Envision Schools. Oakland, CA: Envision reading and writing, with 21st-century literacies,such as the critical use of Web-based information,digital presentation, design, video and audio produc-tion, and editing. As humanities teacher SuzanneMalek points out:We don’t teach new technologies in isolation. Studentslearn different applications so that they can communi-cate their ideas and their insights. No one is just learningPhotoshop or Garage Band. We want them to leave hereas thinkers and writers, not just as people who havetechnical skills. That’s what will make them survive—and stand out—in college.To achieve the essential goal of engaging studentsin academic learning and recognizing that theywill need many ways to communicate their ideas,Metro administrators and faculty use everyopportunity to integrate the arts. Integration beginsright away, in ninth grade. For example, Bill Alan,an English teacher, knows that a major challengefor his entering students is to go beyond the literalcomprehension of texts. He uses theater arts to pushhis students to understand literature more deeply, atmore than the “who, what, when, and where” level.Alan details student involvement in one class:When they read Lord of the Flies, they had to dramatizeit. That means being able to pick out the core actionsfrom the background. Moreover, I asked them to re-setit in contemporary San Francisco. So they translatedthe tale of the island to a ward of a public hospital here,where there was too little vaccine for bird flu to goaround for all the patients. That demands that they un-derstand the themes and the human issues at the heartof the novel: What do scarcity and power do?Throughout the many “straight-up” academicclasses at Metro—biology, physics, math, and socialstudies—teachers leverage additional learning timeby incorporating high-quality arts projects intotraditional disciplines. One example is the “World ofHurt” humanities unit, where Suzanne Malek givesher students the opportunity to use their world his-tory and digital arts knowledge to portray the manyways in which war affects the lives of both the ag-gressors and victims.The project begins with a guided research phase,in which Malek helps tenth graders acquire inquiryand research skills through the exploration of top-ics related to World War II, such as the JapaneseBlog Animation Audio Presentation Thesis ProjectHow can a blog serveto organize andexpose ideas andcreativity?How can you conveyideas and emotionsthrough animation?How do you create anarrative with audiotools?How do you createa convincing multi-media presentation?Students developand pursue their ownessential question ina digital format.Intro to Digital Media “How do you harness digital technology to communicate effectively?”
  • 40. 38 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationinternment and the Holocaust. Together, the teacherand students investigate a wide range of resources,including printed primary and secondary sources,documentary films, and photographs. Students alsowork on key topics, such as how to judge the credibil-ity of a particular source and what it means to use,rather than copy or plagiarize, sources. In a secondindependent research phase, students select topicsthat especially interest them, with Malek herselfacting in the role of mentor and resource. Then, theproject culminates in a digital design phase, as stu-dents use all the skills and content they developedduring their research to produce a 5–10 minute filmthat brings together what they have been learning intheir world history and digital arts classes. This finalassignment for the World of Hurt provides studentswith an entry in their tenth-grade portfolios. Here, asthe assignment sheet illustrates (see “World of Hurt”in box, at left), technology and social-science knowl-edge operate as equal partners.Throughout the World of Hurt project, students arequite clear that they should be thinking in both thedomains of history and of digital art. As one studentrelates, her aim is to command the historical facts re-lating to the experiences of Asian Americans duringWorld War II:My movie is about a girl who was born in Japan,butbrought up in the United States by her dad, who hadbeen stationed in Asia. She is shocked to be interned;she thinks of herself as a citizen. She’s bitter and angry.In the camp, she meets her brother, who stayed behindin Japan but traveled to the U.S. and was interned. Hisperspective is different; he knows he is seen as an enemy.When she recognizes him, she realizes he is someoneshe loves and that she can’t live hating people.This student appreciates that she is simultaneouslyresponsible for thinking about the design of her digi-tal filmmaking project, in addition to its historicalcontent and emotional impact:…I want to make it in black and white, to make it seemfrom that time. I am thinking it should be told in flash-backs, until you get the whole story of their differentchildhoods. I am going to make the images blurry, soyou can’t tell that I’m using people from school, and thatcould make it seem more like memories.The high level of expectations for their finishedwork, which Metro students encounter and mustmeet each year, produces high school seniors ca-pable of taking on projects that demand independentthinking and an investment of time beyond what’sliterally required. For example, even on senior “ditchday,” late in the spring, a student came into the me-dia lab to finish her thesis project in the advanceddigital media course. This senior describes the pre-dominant ideas behind the multimedia presentationfor which she was editing the interviews and music:“world of Hurt”Digital Design Phaseby Suzanne Malek, humanities teacherMarch 23–April 16Success Day: Thursday, April 12As an ARTIST and a HISTORIAN, you must create a 5–10minute movie that represents at least two different or con-flicting perspectives from World War II, and forms an objec-tive opinion based on primary and secondary sources, in oneof the following three styles, thinking like an EXPERT:Mockumentary•Use real footage •Stage interviews •Think like a journalistAction Flick•Use real footage •Stage scenes •Think like a directorNarrative•Use original texts •Create collages •Think like an authorScenes portfolio rubricdomainsStory of Perspective #1 Content and EvidenceStory of Perspective #2 Content and EvidenceStory of Perspective #3 Content and EvidenceAnswer Essential Question(conclusion)Argument and OrganizationCredits: Works Cited Page Analysis and Conventions“Behind the Scenes” ReflectionAim for a 4!!!Your historical fiction movie project can have 4-6 scenes;see suggestions in table above. Other ideas? Suggest themby March 14.Monday April 16: YouTube Link + ReflectionDue in Digital Archive: 2 3 Additional Lab Hours:Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, till 5 pmfor use in benchmark portfolio:Must meet April 16 deadline, no exceptions.Metropolitan Arts and Technology Charter High School (Metro)Students use both their world historyand digital arts knowledge to portray theways war affects aggressors and victims.j
  • 41. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 39I chose the issue of graffiti. I wanted to ask whether itwas art or vandalism. So I interviewed a friend of minewho is a really skilled tagger. I asked him to talk aboutwhether what he did was creative or destructive, andI edited the interviews to make a portrait of how I sawhim. Right now, I am creating the audio track. I am try-ing to get the feeling of him being a kind of roaming,renegade spirit. The final project for my portfolio willbe a slide show of photos of his work, pieces of the inter-view, and the sound track.This student developed her project throughoutan entire semester—assembling the storyboard, theinterviews, the visuals, and the audio track, and thenediting these components into a coherent whole.Through her art and technology work, she is acquir-ing the skills of self-directed learning that will helpher succeed in college and the workplace.Using TimeWellAt Metro, educators think about in-school hours inflexible ways. All classes meet four times a week, butin variable time blocks (65 minutes and 100 minutesonce a week; 70 minutes twice a week). Thus, everyclass is at least 20 minutes longer than typicalhigh school sessions, allowing time for discussion,collaboration, and reflection. Moreover, the longer100-minute periods allow students to dive intoproject-based learning—whether that is developing adramatic scene or drafting a design for a poster.BBBBAt Metro, ratherthan seat time or duedates, mastery defines“finished” work.“Studio Culture” to Expand LearningWith the school’s flexible use of time and its em-phasis on portfolios, Metro has developed whatmight well be called a studio, rather than a schedule,culture. Here, educators and students alike under-stand that, rather than seat time or due dates, levelsof mastery truly define “finished” work. The clear,school-wide expectation is that Metro students, mo-tivated to make an effort, will use their time in andout of school to:a Attend their own and other students’ exhibi-tions (even though these occur in the eveningsafter dismissal);a Do “as much as it takes” in their Wednesdayservice learning or work placements;a Come in early, use their lunch periods, or stayafter school to prepare and rehearse for the port-folio exhibitions or finish long-term projects;anda Put in the extra time to bring unfinished orunacceptable work up to standard for promotionand/or graduation.As a result, learning becomes a 24/7 activity, withstudents motivated to dedicate time and energy totheir work well outside the confines of the school.One tenth-grade student illustrates how, halfwaythrough high school, such round-the-clock learninghas become reflexive for her:We were reading Of Mice and Men and some poems thatwent with it, and we each had to come up with what wethought was the central theme. I had my assignment
  • 42. 40 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationdone, but my friend was still working on hers. I was in theLearning Center and I got some ideas about evidence shecould use, so I wrote notes about it on my phone so that Icould text them to her and we could talk about it later.Metro educators know that these skills—makinga sustained effort, planning, and self-monitoring—which are related to the use of time, are ones thatstudents urgently need to succeed beyond the highlystructured world of high school. As the data on col-lege persistence indicates, Metro students and stu-dents across the Envision Education network (fromwhich Metro receives guidance on how to imple-ment its skill-based curriculum) are remarkablysuccessful in this arena. That success may occur, inpart, because Envision students have what amountsto a four-year curriculum in learning to value timeand in the understanding that doing good work oftendemands working beyond the end of the scheduledschool day.Teaching at MetroJust as students develop the notion that their work isboth multifaceted and does not end when the schoolbell rings, so, too, Metro teachers operate with simi-lar expectations. Following along these lines, everyteacher takes on several roles. They:a Teach their academic classesa Act as advisors for cohorts of studentsa Supervise out-of-school placementsa Volunteer to be available before and afterschool and during added “labs,” particularly inthe run-up to portfolio reviewsa Serve on exhibition juriesSuch a range of professional responsibilties is, nodoubt, demanding. But when asked about these de-mands, Metro teachers often point out that there arecompensating rewards:Working across different roles can be tiring, but it is alsorefreshing. I supervise service learning for ninth- andtenth-grade students while I also teach English. For me,teaching Lord of the Flies is enriched because I can talk tomy students about the choices people make to do good orevil in this world. Without the service-learning part, thatdiscussion could just fall flat. — Bill Alan, ninth-gradeEnglish teacherWhen I sit on juries [the system of observing and rat-ing students’ oral performances], I can see where mytenth graders have gotten. I see where my investmentshave made a difference. I don’t think I could go back toworking any other way. — Suzanne Malek, tenth-gradehumanities teacherThe demands run high, no questions about that, but sodo the rewards. Because of the way we work here, I cansee the results every day. My students make amazingstuff, and it gets better with each project. — PhyllisWong, digital arts teacherConnecting to the Wider worldThe faculty at Metro has been eager to forge aworking relationship with the neighborhood in theschool’s Bayview-Hunters Point setting. Specifi-cally, educators have strived to attract neighborhoodstudents who, up until the establishment of Metro,had to fan out across the city to go to high school.Plus, these teachers and administra-tors have worked to destigmatize theschool’s location, about which manyfamilies had questions, and to con-nect their students to communityresources while, at the same time,presenting the school as a resource forthe community. In this context, everyMetro eleventh and twelfth gradermust complete a “Work Learning Ex-perience” for his or her portfolio. It’s arequirement that depends on commu-nity businesses and nonprofits beingwilling to open their doors to Metrostudents.To inaugurate this interactiveprocess with the community, thefirst set of Metro student exhibitionswere held at a historic neighborhoodlandmark, the Bayview Opera House.Ninth graders showcased their litera-cy and research skills by first learningthe basic history of the neighborhoodand then working with the elders whoattend the adult day-care center onMetropolitan Arts and Technology Charter High School (Metro)
  • 43. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 41the building’s first floor, many of whom grew up andworked in Bayview-Hunters Point before World WarII. Based on these interviews, the students developedtheir own short plays to dramatize the residents’ per-sonal stories and to bring to light the larger historyof the neighborhood as a productive, working-classcommunity.Tenth graders, meanwhile, investigated the effectsof industrialization and de-industrialization on theneighborhood—examining how city services likeschools, transportation, and green spaces were af-fected as the neighborhood was marginalized. Usingtheir digital arts skills, these students selected, andthen altered historical photos to suggest what theneighborhood could become. At the exhibition, theypresented their work in conversations at differentstations, as in a science fair.During this event, eleventh graders used theirknowledge of American history—as well as theoriginal research of ninth and tenth graders—tocreate newspapers about Bayview-Hunters Point inthe World War II era. The students contrasted thehistorical accounts in their articles with current con-ditions to show how dramatically different the neigh-borhood is now from its bustling past.Twelfth graders contributed to the event bycreating a complete five-act play that sought toportray the experiences of a family that has livedin Bayview-Hunters Point. The play follows thefamily—at first, thriving when jobs were plentiful,and then struggling through job loss, poverty, anddisplacement. As playwrights, these seniors drewon the original research done by the other grades,then used their performing arts and creative writingskills to portray how neighborhood and individualfates are intertwined.Through this inaugural exhibition, studentslearned a good deal about their school’s host com-munity, and Bayview-Hunters Point employers whoattended had the opportunity to see what these stu-dents can present and produce. The next step will beturning this mutual acquaintanceship into work ex-perience opportunities, where students can put theirschool-based skills to real-world applications.Toward the FutureFor years, leaders have been warning that Americanhigh school students are underprepared to be inde-pendent learners and, in turn, to face the challengesof college and tomorrow’s workplaces. Metro andother Envision schools have taken on this challenge,using a variety of approaches and resources to devel-op in young people the motivation and the skills tosucceed. The proven track record of Envision gradu-ates persisting in college suggests that the network’sinvestments in the arts and technology as motivatingforces—a process of building portfolios, presentingMetroArts Education at the Core:By structuring learning around the development of portfolios, Metroemphasizes the “studio culture” as central to the high school’s artseducation.Organizing to Support Arts Education:Teachers at Metro take on multiple roles, including as academicinstructors, personal advisors, and also as supervisors of students’out-of-school arts-oriented internships.The Power of Arts Education to Engage:School Highlight—The multidisciplinary “World of Hurt” projectmotivates students to draw on a broad range of skills and to developan aesthetic eye in their study of history and community.AdvancingArts Educationexhibitions, and building links between in- and out-of-school learning—may become key elements in asuccessful, post-secondary experience as well.Metro, in particular, has much to celebrate. Theschool is now in a long-term facility that will enableit to build a stable community in its own Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. This community nowincludes a group of families who know and trustMetro and its increasingly positive local reputation.Indeed, the number of applicants to the charter highschool has reached unprecedented levels.Metro will not rest on its laurels, however. Witha steady and growing student population—andsustained good work—the school is seeking to findnew indicators of its success. Along with maintain-ing strong rates of college entrance and persistence,Metro’s new definition of success means:a Demonstrating that the school can attractand maintain a larger student body;a Developing evidence of individual studentprogress from year to year; anda Making school-wide progress on studentachievement on both the CAHSEE (CaliforniaHigh School Exit Examination) and the CST(California Standards Test).As Principal Nick Kappelhoff asserts:We are proud of what we have been able to do for ourstudents in terms of graduation and college-going rates.But we also want them to have the skills to shine on allkinds of assessments, including standardized measures.Some of our students will want to go on to civil service,for example, and we want to be able to make a largerargument that this kind of project-based learning yieldsfoundational skills, as well as creative thinking.
  • 44. 42 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationCASE4 Cole Arts and Sciences Academy (CASA)❝“Childrenneed to cometo school toturn on theircreativityand turn ontheir thinking,and the artshave becomethe conduitthrough whichwe are ableto make thishappen.”Julie Murgel,Principal, CASA“Infusing”the ArtstoRevitalizeLearningFostering higher-order thinking skillsthrough creativity and engagementDenver, ColoradoThe grand brick school building which housesCole Arts and Sciences Academy (CASA) rises above aneighborhood dense with single-story homes and apart-ment buildings. Sitting among playing fields, tenniscourts, and playgrounds, sporting columns and a belltower, the school strikes a contrast to the poverty thatmarks the surroundings. Inside, with the high ceilings,broad hallways lined with colorful student artwork, andfacilities that include an interactive Promethean board®in every room and a library with roughly 30 updateddesktop computers, the school might appear to be situ-ated in an upscale suburban district. But, in this area,the highest-crime zip code in Denver, 96 percent ofthe students who fill the classrooms qualify for free orreduced-price lunch, and fully one-third of the studentsare English language learners.Since Cole re-opened in fall 2008, after a history ofunderperformance, the school has turned around its
  • 45. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 43reputation; CASA is now highly desired by parentsand has become the pride of the community. Part ofthe school’s transformation stems from the commit-ment of administrators and faculty to providing stu-dents a well-rounded education, rather than one thatwill enable students just to pass state tests in readingand math. The community has demanded that theschool deliver the kind of opportunities that childrenin the neighborhood often lack, and CASA’s arts andenrichment programming go a long way toward sat-isfying that demand.CASA in ContextIn 2004, Cole Middle School became the first dis-trict school in Colorado history to be taken over bythe state on account of poor performance. The statetransferred management of Cole to KIPP, the nation-ally renowned charter school network, bringing inits high-performing model to turn around the school.But within a couple of years, the national chartermanagement organization decided to pull up stakeswhen it was unable to secure stable leadership.Control of Cole passed back to the Denver PublicSchools, which, as part of its broader reform plan,resolved to once again open it as a district school inAugust 2008.The new principal that the district had hired torestart the troubled school, Julie Murgel, a veteranschool leader in the Denver Public Schools, un-derstood that her first task was to “reboot” Cole’sreputation. Murgel had to prove that the “new”school—now serving kindergarten through eighthgrade—would be a place of both serious learningand vital nurturing.* In spring 2008, Murgel con-vened parents with educators to craft a design planfor the school. When members of the group sat downtogether, they set out their aspirations. As Murgelrecalls:In figuring out how to prepare students for the 21stcentury, we wanted to make sure they would becomecreative, that they would be able to solve problems, andthat they would inquire and demonstrate higher-orderthinking. We knew we would need more time to coverthe basics, because our students come in so far behind,but we didn’t want to focus on just reading and math atthe expense of children having more opportunities topractice higher-order thinking. These opportunities inschool are key. Students need places where they can becreative and can investigate.To capture these hopes, the planners decided toadopt the name Cole Arts and Sciences Academy.Focused on achieving CASA’s educational goals,Julie Murgel worked with the district to apply for“innovation status.” This designation from thestate—something the school earned in its first yearof operation—enabled Cole to bypass some of theusual rules regulating schools, the most notable ofwhich are scheduling, budgeting, and staffing. Inpractical terms, budget flexibility meant that theschool could fund a larger number of staff positionsthan a typical school of its size and offer a longerschool schedule. Because it had been exempted* CASA is currently transitioning back to a K-5 school. Starting in the 2011-12school year, Cole no longer had sixth grade, and served only seventh and eighthgrades. Starting in SY2012 - 13, the school is serving only eighth grade, along withits elementary levels. In SY2013 – 14, Cole will be entirely without middle grades.BBBB“A lot of people chooseto come to Cole becauseof the ‘fun factor’ and the‘specials’ team has greatrapport with the students.The arts are a huge draw.”
  • 46. 44 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationfrom the placement rules of the collective-bargainingagreement, CASA had the ability to recruit, hire, andretain staff who are committed to the school vision.Despite being in a relatively strong position struc-turally, from the beginning, Cole educators knewthey had a steep hill to climb to get all students toachieve at high levels. During the first year, theschool posted proficiency rates on reading and mathtests that were only in the teens. Since then, the per-centages of students scoring proficient on the statestandardized tests have increased steadily—and theschool has hit its growth targets—but, because therates started so low, the proportion of students achiev-ing proficiency in the tested subjects still hovers be-low 50 percent.CASA has also seen some other key successesover its four-year history—including its high rate ofparental involvement, methodical tracking of stu-dent behavior, and, perhaps most significantly, itsdevelopment of a positive, learner-centered culturein which the arts play an important role. In fact,says Rob Clemens, the school’s manager of businessand operations, “A lot of people—both students andparents—choose to come to Cole because of the ‘funfactor.’ And the ‘specials team’ has great rapportwith the students. The arts are a huge draw.” Parentsconcur, and the level of satisfaction with the school isvery high—a degree of support nearly unimaginablefour years ago.Committing to Arts LearningElevating the role of the arts in learning is a core goalof CASA. “By having ‘arts’ in the name of our school,we really put it out there that we are evaluatingarts along with core curriculum,” contends AnneNestor, Cole’s math and science coach. “When it’sin your name, you have to do more than if this werejust a ‘regular’ school.” In several respects, CASAdemonstrates this valuing of the arts, both in theways that the educational program is organized andstaffed and in the attitudes that faculty members andadministrators tap to build the practices and policiesof the school.A clear benefit of holding innovation status withinColorado is that schools are able to set their ownschedules. For each of the past four years, Cole hasadded 15 minutes to the daily schedule, so that it nowboasts a school day about one hour longer than thetypical Denver public school, with Cole’s day endingat almost 4:00 pm instead of before 3:00 pm. Theexpanded day gives Cole the opportunity to includeat least one “specials” class every day (a rotation ofarts, music, physical education, and library) andstill reserve nearly six hours for academics. Thesespecials are held throughout the day, with the classesfor older students typically taking place in themorning and the younger grades having afternoonspecials. On Fridays, the school shortens otherclasses to allow for 75-minute “Infusions”—electivesin areas related to science, the arts, and athletics—inthe afternoon. Most Fridays also feature a communitymeeting when the whole student body gathersto share successes and build camaraderie. (See“Schedule,” above.)Specials ClassesWithin the specials classes, in particular, Coleholds the arts to a high standard. In both musicand visual arts, students are deeply engaged in thetask at hand, while the talented specials team ofteachers is fully committed to having each of theirclasses be a meaningful learning experience. Thespecials atmosphere frequently seems more relaxed.Visual arts teacher Jessica Stellish, for instance,plays popular music from speakers attached to heriPod during class and often lets her students choosewhat they want to work on, but the educationalSchedule – Grades 4 and 58:15–11:0011:05–11:5512:00–12:3012:30–2:002:00–2:152:15–3:55MONDAY–ThursdayReading/WritingSpecials(PE, Music,Visual Art)Lunch Math/ScienceRecess Math/ScienceFRIDAYReading/WritingSpecials Lunch Math/ScienceCommunityMeetingArts/Sci/PEInfusionsCole now hasa school dayabout one hourlonger than thetypical Denverelementaryschool.vCole Arts and Sciences Academy (CASA)
  • 47. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 45components here are anything but casual. AsStellish thoughtfully explains:I would like students to gain three things from my class:First, problem solving—I want students to work ontheir own ideas and to voice their own opinions. Second,empowerment—I want them to take ownership over theart room so that they can be artists there. And, finally,engagement—I want students to be interested in art, so Itry to pick themes that I know they will like, such as popart or grafitti.Music class lacks the informality of the two artrooms, but Celesta Cairns, the teacher, is still ableto convey a real sense of joy and exploration, as thestudents sing continually. With her first graders,for instance, Cairns moves seamlessly from havingstudents sing an introductory song about shapesto a game where these children repeat the namesand symbols of the musical notes (do, re, mi, etc.).Although Cairns does not tolerate speaking out ofturn or straying attention, she exudes anything butrigidity; instead, her classroom resounds with theexcitement of learning. (See “Music Lesson Plan,”at right.)Because the expectations in CASA’s specials class-es are no less substantial than those for academics,the learning appears to take hold just as thoroughly.Additionally, because the very methods that specialsteachers employ intentionally mirror those in placein literacy or math classes, the students can moreeasily translate the knowledge and skills they gainthrough specials to other subjects. A technique like“turn and talk,” where students reflect in pairs onwhat they are learning, for example, is put into prac-tice in nearly all Cole classrooms, whether they areacademic courses or specials.Administrator Stephanie Chavira, who coordi-nates the corps of teachers in training (“teacherresidents”) in the school, recalls an incident thatdemonstrated the rigorous expectations of the artscurriculum—not to mention the extension of the artscurriculum into core academics—when she was ob-serving a third-grade literacy class one day:I remember that the teacher resident showed a book ofPicasso’s art to demonstrate to students how to visual-ize details so that they could put them down in writing.After that, the kids rattled off another four or five majorartists—like Rembrandt and Monet—and the ways inwhich they painted. One student said, for example, thatMonet painted “like pillows.” We couldn’t believe ourears. The whole scene showed us just how much thestudents are learning in art class and that even childrenas young as third graders are expected to learn way morethan just drawing pictures.Principal Julie Murgel explains that the act ofpaying attention to small details—a fixture in visualarts—and the specials teachers’ practice of havingWeek of: january 17–21Grade: 5Weekly ObjectiveStudents will be able to identify the form of two differentAfrican-American spirituals, play “When the Saints GoMarching In” on the keyboard with intervals in the left,and learn “50 Nifty United States,” as per their classroomteacher request.Activities% Learn “50 Nifty United States”% Review seating charts, left and right hand position,posture, tempo, dynamics% Play “ When the Saints Go Marching In”% Listen: John Henry and Underground Railroad% Group assessment: Identify the chorus and verse atproper times% Individual Assessment: Listen to each student play“When the Saints Go Marching In” on the keyboard.Higher-Level ThinkingStudents are learning how to play notes, read notes, countrhythms, and listen to others all at the same time. This is amultiple modality skill. Connecting historical periods withthe art and philosophy of the times encourages empathy andunderstanding from students.AssessmentListen to students individually. If they can play all thenotes–4; if they are working hard and can play most of thenotes–3; if they can play some of the notes–2; and if they arenot trying–1. Group hands will go up at the correct times toidentify the changes in phrase.Standards Addressed1 Expression of Music2 Creation of Music3 Theory of Music4 Aesthetic Valuation of MusicDouble PlanningTalk to [name of student] individually about remainingseated and staying on task. Remind class of practicing tech-niques and listening strategies.Big GoalAnnouncements should take up only 5 minutes of class soplaying can be more than 50 percent of the time. Cleanupshould take no more than 5 minutes.Music Lesson Planby Celesta Cairns, Music teacher
  • 48. 46students articulate what they see, helps children inCASA literacy classes become better at descriptivewriting. “Sometimes the idea of having studentsprovide more detail can be an abstract thought inliteracy class, but because they have the experiencein art class of discussing what it means to have a lotof detail, they have a better understanding,” Murgelsays. The principal also suggests that there is anenormous “spillover effect” from dedicating regularand serious time to the arts:In art class, it’s about working really hard and having aproduct that you can take pride in. Maybe the first timeit doesn’t look good, but that is okay. You can go back andmake it better…. And the teachers really encourage notgiving up. It’s really about practice, practice, practice.And then, once you do enough practice, you’re going toget where you want to be. So I think it translates backinto the classroom in developing a “can-do attitude.” Inliteracy class, say, the student thinks, “Maybe I’m notreading it right the first time, but I know I can go backand practice and get it right because I’ve seen myselfpractice at something and get better.”For students, the psychological effect of knowingthey can excel in arts classes has positive impactselsewhere in school, too. As Murgel explains: “If youare struggling in math class, for example, but youknow that in a half hour you’ll get to music and willbe able to succeed there and feel good, then you areable to get through the challenging part of the day.I’ve seen students translate that self-confidence theyfeel in specials classes back to other classrooms.”Friday Infusions“Infusions” are a key component of CASA’s artsprogramming. These eight-week elective coursesare designed not only to broaden students’ exposureto different enrichment opportunities, but also tointroduce choice into their education. As PrincipalMurgel explains, “We believe that if children havechoice it gets them to be more creative. It also givesteachers more time to be creative and share theirgifts with the students.” The level of choice variesby grade, with the primary classes (grades 1 and2) choosing from among a list of possible subjectsthat their teachers will explore in Infusions, whilestudents in grade 3 and higher have the opportunityto choose from a long list of courses taught by otherCole faculty members, who may or may not be thesechildren’s regular teachers.Although the mechanics of the Infusions havechanged from year to year, their basic structure hasnot. Students’ own testimonies provide compellingevidence for why CASA has maintained this edu-cational opportunity. An eighth-grade girl, describ-ing her computer drawing class, declares, “Havingthe chance to learn about drawing on the computermakes me want to do it more. I’m going to try to domore of it in high school.” Another student, sittingnearby, pipes in, “I take Shakespeare because I likeacting.” And has studying Shakespearean literaturein the Infusion helped this student in English class?“Definitely,” she responds. “I speak up much more,not only in English class, but in all my classes. I justfeel more confident in expressing myself.”Cole Arts and Sciences Academy (CASA)BBBBMusic class lacks theinformality of the art rooms,but the teacher is still able toconvey a real sense of joy andexploration.
  • 49. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 47During the 2011–12 academicyear, CASA implemented twodistinct processes that eachhad the effect of increasingtime spent on teaching andlearning. The first of thesewas a deliberate effort ofCole’s administration to ana-lyze where the school mightbe losing time to inefficien-cies—a process that beganwith collecting data duringtwo weeks to track time usein the school. Every teacher,given a stop watch and clip-board, was asked to docu-ment how they used time in anumber of broad categories(lecture, group discussion,disciplining students, transi-tions, etc.). Administratorsthen compiled the data toproduce a composite of howteachers across the school,including the specials teach-ers, used their available time.This process had atwo-fold purpose: First,administrators were hopingto develop awareness amongthe teachers themselvesconcerning how they werespending their time each day.“Where is the time leakage?Where is the time being usedin ways that do not supportinstruction?” as Businessand Operations Manager RobClemens asks. Awareness,however, was only the firststep. The next phase involvedtaking specific actions tochange time use. Clemensnotes that teachers leadingthe younger grades havechanged their class bathroomprocedures, for example, tosend more children to thebathroom at one time so thatthe entire group would notspend as much time goingthrough the routine.CASA also implemented avery methodical studentbehavior tracking system,which has already had signifi-cant implications on time usein classrooms. Introduced byCole Assistant Principal BenCairns, the system is intendedto moderate student disrup-tions and misbehavior beforethey escalate too far. Addi-tionally, the structure was putin place to force consistencyof expectations across allschool classrooms.The system is working.CASA saw its total disciplin-ary actions—that is, referralsto the front office—dropfrom over 900 in the 2010–11school year (SY) to roughly300 in SY2011–12. Contraryto what one might expect,imposing this strict code ofconduct has actually enliv-ened what’s happening inCole classes. As Anne Nestor,the math and science coach,attests, “Now that you havethe class quiet, you cannotgive a mediocre lesson. Youhave to engage the studentsand make it fun. The conver-sations among teachers areabout how to pace lessonsso that they incorporatehigher-level thinking.” Inother words, getting bettercontrol of student behaviorhas helped to ensure thattime is being used produc-tively. Instead of taking timefrom teaching to disciplinestudents, teachers can focusexclusively on quality instruc-tion. And the effect extendsthroughout the whole school,including in specials classes,where the behavior protocolsare treated just as seriouslyand consistently as they arein the core academic classes.Recovering “Lost Time”Two processes that increase time spent on teaching and learningFrequently, an element of pride shines through asstudents describe their experiences participating inInfusions. Some students happily talk of the skillsthey gain in photography classes; others speak oftheir performances in the Gilbert and Sullivan oper-etta Pirates of Penzance last spring. In fact, this artsevent emerged as a school-wide celebration—a real-ity that became readily apparent during rehearsalwhen students cheered loudly in response to their di-rector (Celesta Cairns, the music teacher) remindingthem that their premiere show was only a few weeksaway. If students were nervous about performing orapprehensive about having to finish learning theirlines, their excitement clearly outweighed such fears.Using TimeWellTo realize CASA’s goals—well-rounded educationand higher-order thinking enabled through arts andscience opportunities—the administration has fo-cused intently on making sure that both the school’spolicies and its people are aligned with this purpose.These educators know that while Cole’s longer day isa gift they can use to develop their educational pro-gram, they must work hard to harness its potential.Valuing the Specials at CASAFor CASA Principal Julie Murgel, the commitmentto the arts starts with staffing. “A school is only asgood as the people in it,” she asserts. By all accounts,the 7 specials teachers (2 visual arts, 2 physical edu-cation, 1 each of music, library, and technology) areamong the most talented and experienced of the 55teachers in the school. The specials faculty also dem-onstrate remarkable camaraderie—continually seek-ing to coordinate their lessons with one another. Forexample, the physical education teachers and libraryspecialist have collaborated on several lessons, incor-porating themes from children’s literature into theirphysical play activities.Because the educational philosophy of CASA ex-plicitly values the arts along with other enrichments,and because the members of this group of specialsteachers all deliver high-quality instruction, thewhole team is respected throughout the school. AsZach Rahn, one of Cole’s assistant principals, notes:We have worked over the last four years to bring in greatpeople, and that is the root of why the specials programhas taken off. The cohesiveness of the specials teachersand their relentless spirit to improve their craft and tobring opportunities to the kids are hugely important.
  • 50. 48 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationThis sentiment is shared by many at CASA. School-wide faculty surveys consistently show that thespecials team gets the strongest overall rating fortheir contributions to the Cole community. “I’ve seenschools where the specialists are basically treated asglorified babysitters,” says library specialist JenniferFakolt. “But here we are equals to the subject teach-ers. We feel totally integrated.”The work of the CASA specialists is also sup-ported by the school policy that ensures students arenot taken out of special classes to receive academicsupport or to get counseling or other services. AsJulie Murgel says, “You value that [specials] timejust like all the other classes, and that sends a mes-sage.” And the message extends in two directions.First, students understand that their time in specialsclasses is considered an essential component of theireducation: Art or music is not an extra that can orshould be taken away. And the specials teachers,knowing that their classes are embedded within thecore of the Cole educational program, take very seri-ously their responsibility to provide students with ameaningful learning experience.†Integrating Arts Across the CurriculumAt CASA, the arts also play a recognizable role inthe educational program through the integration oftheir various modes into academic classes. In fact,the primary push for integrating arts with academicsubjects comes from the specialist teachers, ratherthan the other way around. Art teacher Brian Rem-ing describes having fifth graders study how todepict trees as they were writing essays in literacyclass about Arbor Day, while music teacher CelestaCairns has sought to connect the music that sheteaches with the social studies curriculum (e.g., keypieces from the 20th-century American songbook).Additionally, Cairns sends out to all Cole faculty a† In actuality, this policy of keeping students in specials classes was not always ineffect. During the first two years of CASA’s existence, students who needed extraservices (“interventions”) were pulled from their specials classes for a numberof weeks. This arrangement meant that students often would enter their art ormusic class mid-semester, having missed several weeks of lessons. The specialsteachers objected strenuously to the practice, because the unregulated flow ofstudents in and out of their classes interrupted their instruction. Further, thestudents felt uncomfortable entering the class in the middle of projects, the spe-cialist teachers contended.“song of the week,” in which she highlights how aparticular song might be used as a resource in math,science, or literacy classes.In a similar vein, library teacher Jennifer Fakolthas developed several units that combine art, tech-nology, and literacy. For example, in the third grade,she asks students to read a few fairytales and pickout some of the key themes and story elements.Then, Fakolt assigns each student to use a computerdrawing program to design a fairytale house of theirown. Some students even seek to integrate videosdownloaded from YouTube into their artwork.On Fridays, the specials teachers often run day-long, community-building themed “Dream Time”events. (“D.R.E.A.M.”—which stands for Discover,Respect, Empathize, Achieve, and Motivate—is theschool’s motto.) Recently, the specials teachers led“Dr. Seuss Day,” which connected hands-on activi-ties in the students’ library and physical educationperiods with core literacy content. This specialsprogram invited students to rotate through a dozenstations, each with some game or contest that testedboth their physical and intellectual prowess. Stationsincluded the “Cat in the Hat TreasureHunt”—a kind of memory game that alsoinvolved problem solving—and the “Hor-ton Hatches the Egg” music game, wherestudents could practice the skills theyhad learned during the prior few weeksin music class.Toward the FutureBecause CASA is in the midst of a transi-tion from a K–8 school to one that servesonly grades K–5, the smaller studentpopulation will mean that the school nolonger needs a second visual arts or a second physi-cal education teacher.‡ It is unclear what the impactof shrinking the specials team from seven to fiveteachers will have on Cole’s school culture and on itsarts program. Certainly, the specials team memberswho are staying at the school expect that they willfeel the loss of their close colleagues.So a second challenge—that of building a culturethat pushes students toward higher achievementwhile not becoming overly rigid—remains. Evenparents of Cole students, who are very supportive ofthe school’s approach to upholding high academicexpectations, note that CASA can sometimes be toostrict with discipline. The consensus among theseadults is that the specials classes, where teachersseem more able to naturally maintain high expecta-‡ The change is coming about because Cole will be giving up its middle gradesto its neighbor, the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST), which oc-cupies the rear section of the large building. The arrangement was the result ofnegotiations between CASA and DSST to work in partnership within the singleschool building, so that students might experience a somewhat seamless edu-cation from K–12, even though they would be attending two different schools.Cole Arts and Sciences Academy (CASA)“The cohesiveness of the specials teach-ers and their relentless spirit to improvetheir craft...are hugely important.”
  • 51. 49tions for student conduct while allowing the joy oflearning to flourish, might serve as a model for otherclassrooms throughout the school.There is also room for growth in the area of artsintegration. Many academic teachers admit thatthey still do not include enough arts content in theirclasses, acknowledging that they could be leverag-ing their time with students to find complementaryartistic approaches—such as using drawing to helpstudents better understand scientific concepts—thatdeepen educational content. While they appreciatethat the specials team in the building provides astrong resource for this kind of integration, many ofCole’s academic teachers have yet to take full advan-tage of their colleagues’ talents and time.Finally, CASA, like other schools servingdisadvantaged populations, continues to strugglewith finding the right balance between raisingbasic proficiency levels and building more depthand higher-order thinking into the curriculum. Atpresent, administrators believe that the arts canhelp accelerate and strengthen students’ learning,but most academic teachers still perceive thearts primarily as a supplement to their lessons—playing songs in the background while studyingscience or drawing pictures on book report covers,for example—rather than viewing the arts as themedium through which students can enhancetheir understanding of core content or, even better,attain higher-order thinking skills. Cole’s academicteachers report that, even with the expandedday, they do not “have enough time” to add artscomponents, so they have yet to fully integrate thearts into robust lessons.Even with these challenges, CASA has experi-enced a remarkable rebirth over the last four years.With an administrative team that appreciates howthe arts can support both breadth and depth of learn-ing, Cole is on a clear path toward having the artsbecome a driving force of its educational program.As the school’s teaching force becomes more expe-rienced and the administration works to enhanceteachers’ professional development, the dream ofa school that encourages and enables higher-orderthinking—in large part, through and with the arts—promises to become real.CASAArts Education at the Core:“Specials” teachers drive many curricular elements throughout theschool’s educational program, while these teachers also often aligncurricula in their own classes with content that students encounterin their academic courses.Organizing to Support Arts Education:Dedicating substantial time on Friday afternoons for enrichmentsthrough classes called “Infusions” ensures that all Cole studentshave opportunities to choose arts activities that they prefer.The Power of Arts Education to Engage:School Highlight—“Dr. Seuss Day,” conceived of and managed bythe specials teachers, offered students an opportunity to integratelessons in literature, music, and visual arts.AdvancingArts Education
  • 52. 50 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationCASE5 Roger Williams Middle School❝Ourpartnershipswith local artsorganizationsadd creativityand depth toboth artsclasses andacademicclasses.… All ofthis will makea lifelongimpact on ourstudents.”Brearn Wright,Principal, RogerWilliams MiddleSchoolFeaturingtheArtsinaSchoolTurnaroundCommitting to a well-rounded educationwhile striving to raise academic achievementAfter spending years as an “underperformer,”Roger Williams Middle School in Providence,Rhode Island, was designated by the state as a“turnaround” school in 2009. With this new status,Roger Williams was awarded a School ImprovementGrant (SIG), which directs additional federalfunds to low-performing schools for the purpose ofintroducing substantial reforms, including expandedtime. Educators at Roger Williams have taken fulladvantage of this opportunity to overhaul theireducational program—concentrating on raisingstudent achievement while also working hard toengage students in the arts. Joining forces with twocommunity partners—Providence ¡CityArts! forYouth and the Providence After School Alliance—tohelp integrate the arts across the curriculum, theProvidence, Rhode Island
  • 53. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 51school’s principal and faculty are collaborating toensure that their students will be fully prepared forhigh school and beyond. Given that well over 1,000schools in America have been awarded SIG fundingsince 2009, and that they have faced similarly steepchallenges to become more effective, Roger Williamscan serve as a test case for how the combination ofexpanded learning time and the presence of the artscan—if used wisely and well—contribute to improve-ments in a school’s culture and student achievement.Roger Williams in ContextRoger Williams Middle School is located in theneighborhood know as Lower South Providence.Built in the 1930s, like many schools of that period,Roger Williams features a brick façade and col-umned steps. The entrance that welcomes visitorswith a wide flight of interior steps culminates in anelegant, mural-lined foyer that faces an auditoriumboasting a proscenium stage. Constructed at a timewhen schools were centers of civic activity, RogerWilliams now stands as one of the few concreteanchors left in an area that has been battered by thechanging economic fortunes of the neighborhoodand the city as a whole. Once home to many smallindustries and the families they supported, SouthProvidence has, over the last decades, been depletedby out-migration to surrounding suburbs and the con-struction of Interstate 95, which has isolated the areafrom both downtown and the waterfront. Meanwhile,the neighborhood has become the refuge for poorminorities displaced by redevelopment occurring inother, thriving sections of the city.Currently, one in three Lower South Providenceresidents is foreign-born, and half of all residentsspeak a language other than English at home. Only50 percent of adults here have completed high school.The median local family income hovers around$20,000, or about one-third lower than the city-widemedian. Poverty has been increasing over the pastdecade, leaving nearly a third of children living inLower South Providence at or below the poverty line.As a result, family mobility is high.The school population at Roger Williams reflectsthese vital statistics. Most of the school’s students arepoor (91 percent qualify for free and reduced-pricelunch); many are from non-English speaking homes(22 percent receive ESL or bilingual instruction); andalmost one quarter (23 percent) receive special educa-tion services.As expectations have risen for public educationover the past two decades, like many schools withsimilar student populations, Roger Williams hasstruggled. In 2009, after the school had failed to makeBBBBRoger Williams serves as a test case for how the combi-nation of expanded learning time and the presence of the artscan—if used wisely and well—contribute to improvements in aschool’s culture and student achievement.
  • 54. 52 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationadequate yearly progress for two years, it was desig-nated as “chronically underperforming.” So RogerWilliams then became eligible to receive federalfunding (via the state) to implement a turnaroundprocess, with a clear goal to substantially improvestudent achievement. At the start of this process, thedistrict hired a new principal, Brearn Wright, andgranted him new levels of operational flexibility,most notably in staffing, scheduling, and budgeting.Within this mandate for change—including therequirement to increase learning time—Wright andhis faculty made three bold choices. They opted to:a Expand the school day by a full period (oneadditional hour daily) to meet student needs andenrich the curriculum;a Ensure that the arts continued as an integralpart of the curriculum; anda Build a network of community partnerships(with ¡CityArts! and the Providence AfterSchool Alliance) to support the school in its im-provement efforts.Committing to Arts LearningEven though they know they must build students’basic skills in mathematics, reading, and writing,Roger Williams educators are inspired by theirTime Period Class8:00-8:03 Locker8:05-8:56 Period 1 English 68:59-9:50 Period 2 Literacy Intervention9:53-10:15 Advisory10:18-11:09 Period 3 Social Studies11:12-11:42 Period 4 A lunch Music (Phys Ed TR)11:45-12:15 Period 4 B Lunch Music (Phys Ed TR)12:15-12:48 Period 4 C Lunch Lunch12:51-1:42 Period 5 Math1:44-2:35 Period 6 Science2:37-3:28 Period 7 Math Intervention/Arts ElectiveAfter schoolMonday + Wednesday Art Explosion (EDTAP)Tuesday + Thursday ¡CityArts! Dance JamRoger Williams Middle SchoolSchedule of Typical Sixth GraderRoger Williams has committed to using the whole day inways that will best serve students’ learning needs.jschool’s historical commitment to being a center forthe arts in the community. Indeed, the principal andfaculty are determined to reclaim the connectionbetween the arts and high academic expectations. Asskilled middle school educators, they know they needa curriculum that features many modes of learningand many forms of expressing understanding.The recent Roger Williams curriculum revisionstarted with a change in the school day. Usingfederal funding from the School ImprovementGrant (SIG) program, Principal Brearn Wright hasexpanded the school day to seven periods, adding anadditional full period, five days a week. All RogerWilliams students now stay at school until about3:30 pm, instead of 2:30 pm, as they had in previousacademic years. The school’s principal and facultyhave committed to using the additional hour—and,indeed, the time across the whole day—in ways thatwill best serve students’ learning needs.Moving Toward the Arts for AllIn an era when struggling schools too often cut thearts in order to make room for remedial classes, theRoger Williams faculty maintains three full-timespecialists—one each in music, visual arts, andtheater. The result is that, along with courses liketechnology and Spanish, the majority of studentshere have daily “specials” classes that rotate eachquarter, and the school faculty is in the process offiguring out how that majority can come to includeall. Roger Williams educators also acknowledge thatbecause the school is still in the early stages of itsturnaround, they will continue to prioritize teachingtime in academics, so that their students who arevery far behind can begin to perform at grade-levelexpectations.To implement academic intervention, RogerWilliams educators assign students to one of threetiers based on their learning needs. Tier 1 studentsare substantially behind in both reading and math;their extra period gives them time for concentratedand targeted work in both core subjects. Studentsin Tier 2 have major needs in one of these twoareas; the expanded school day gives them addedtime for working on skills where they are weakestand also opens up an opportunity for electives thatinclude the arts, science, Spanish, and currentevents. Tier 3 students are succeeding in bothmajor academic domains. For them, seventh periodopens up even more opportunities for enrichmentcourses in the areas of the arts, science, Spanish,and current events, which keep these studentschallenged and engaged.A significant point is that these tiers are not fixedat Roger Williams. Students in Tiers 1 and 2 have theopportunity to move up as their performances im-prove. As English language arts (ELA) teacher KaydiMcQuade points out:
  • 55. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 53This [tiered system] gives me the carrot that I have beenwanting. Now, as a teacher, I can say to my students whoare skating by, “Work hard. Get yourself into Tier 3.Then see what opens up for you.”Yet many Roger Williams faculty currently feelthat such an arrangement does not live up to theiraspirations to have every student benefit from expo-sure to, and deeper engagement with, the arts. Theseeducators share a longer-term vision in which allstudents, not only those who are already proficientin math and reading, participate in a growing rangeof elective courses, including classes in the arts. Associal studies teacher Dina Capalli explains:We’re in discussion as a faculty about the next genera-tion of seventh period. For me there are three importantissues: First, I am behind a vision where there would bea full menu of enrichment activities—Audubon, Save theBay, music, theater, you name it. The second part is thatthese activities should be available to everyone, not justthe 60 or 70 students in Tier 3. As far as I am concerned,students who are struggling need a range of approaches,not twice the amount of time with the same approach.If we want them to understand measuring, they shouldcome out to the pond. If we want students to writebetter, we should ask them to create the journal of ayoung Native American on the Trail of Tears.Integrating Arts Across the CurriculumOne of the most notable features of the educationalprogram at Roger Williams is the school’s com-mitment to arts integration—wrapping modes andmethods used in the arts into academic classes.Indeed, this philosophical and practical approachsometimes makes it difficult to distinguish betweenclasses in the two arenas at the school.Kaydi McQuade’s sixth-grade English class offersa compelling example, as students learn how to be-come better readers and better thinkers through themedium of plays. One set of lessons enabled studentsto blend history, writing, and performance, culmi-nating in the students’ presentation of a collaborativeproduction at an all-school assembly that celebratedMartin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black HistoryMonth. Drawing their materials from the TeachingTolerance curriculum of the Southern Poverty LawCenter, McQuade and her 20 students viewed a filmdocumentary about the Children’s March of 1963.*Students were then asked to think about how theywould put together a short, but moving, re-enact-ment of this historic event.Three groups of students tackled the performancefrom different angles. One group developed thescript for several major scenes, beginning with themoment when waves of children left their homes tojoin the march, watched over by anxious parents. Asecond group worked on choreography for a move-ment section to depict the confrontation between thepolice with water hoses and the marching children.* On May 2, 1963, the children of Birmingham, Alabama, took to the streets tochallenge segregation. The march eventually led to two significant public speech-es—one by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and one by President John F.Kennedy. Both leaders were upset by the news footage of children being attackedwith water hoses on the streets of the city. Their speeches called for the end ofracial segregation and its terrible costs to young people.BBBBArts integration isone of the most notablefeatures of the educationalprogram at the school.
  • 56. 54 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationAnd the third group conductedresearch on the Internet to findphotographs of the signs that theyoung marchers carried so thatthe students could reproducesome of them, recreating thelook and feel of Birmingham,Alabama, in 1963.At the scriptwriters’ table,McQuade’s students debated thetone and content of the dialoguebetween the young marchers andtheir parents, thinking throughwhat would have been realistic:McQuade: What scenes will it beimportant to show? What scene doyou want for an opener?Student 1: When the kids are leav-ing for the march.Student 2: Yeah, I want to be the one that yells, “Bye Ma,I’m going to be arrested.”Student 3: Nobody would say that; their mother wouldn’tlet them go.Student 2: No, it was in the movie.Student 1: Remember, the mother said she wanted herkids to go.Student 3: But that was after, when they were safe andgrown, and it was over.Overall, McQuade describes this project as a multi-faceted, combined theater-and-literacy experiencefor her sixth graders:Many of the students in this class are still in the processof learning English. They speak it fine for the hallways,the gym, and their everyday lives. But they don’t alwayshave the English they need for academic learning—liter-ate and literary English. My class is an opportunity forthem to be engaged and motivated in acquiring that sec-ond layer of English. To write the script for those scenes,they have to work on their grammar and vocabulary. Tore-create the signs, they have to read well enough to nav-igate the Internet and then to select the most powerfulexamples. To put together the choreography, they have tobe able to offer, discuss, and choose from among the dif-ferent moves they invent.Another example of arts integration at RogerWilliams takes place in Dina Capalli’s social studiesclass. There, students are studying human-environ-mental interactions and thinking about the impactof people’s daily habits, such as the way they disposeof waste. Capalli, in partnership with teaching artistCaitlin Magner, developed a set of visual arts proj-ects that drive home how serious an issue respon-sible waste disposal can be, particularly in a heavilypopulated urban neighborhood. At the core of eachof these projects is the question of what makes apowerful visual representation of a phenomenon.In one project, students discussed how they coulddrive home the impact of casual littering. For 20minutes, students collected trash that had beendropped on the school campus. Next, they built a“trash tower,” from the material they had collected,creating a hulking vertical display to stand as aconvincing symbol of this human impact on oursurrounding environment. Students then practicedreasoning and mathematical skills to extrapolatethe amounts of trash they and their fellow studentsgenerate in a day, month, and year, using their visu-alization skills to imagine row upon row of similartrash towers. Following up, the students conducteda second observational exercise—an environmentalsurvey of trash containers in and around the schoolbuilding. Much to their surprise, they discoveredhow few trash containers there are at the school,and how difficult they were to locate. As a result,the class prepared a presentation for the faculty re-questing funding for more receptacles, and they alsodesigned a poster campaign to motivate their fellowstudents to dispose of trash there. Capalli recounts:The students really gathered their facts: They re-searched the costs and how many containers it wouldtake inside the school and outside on the street. Theyrehearsed and were totally prepared and articulate. Idon’t think the faculty had ever heard them so wellspoken. Students were disappointed when there weren’tthe funds to make it happen. But in some ways, I thinkthat fired them up to keep trying. It was a lesson inwhat it takes to carry the day.The Identity ProjectSuch arts integration approaches are particularlyeffective with the school’s high number of Englishlanguage learners (ELLs). The “Identity Project,” asix-week performance workshop series developedby teaching artist and AmeriCorps team memberAlessandra Zsiba, is a focal point of the faculty’sRoger Williams Middle SchoolBBBBThese educators arereclaiming the connectionbetween the arts and highacademic expectations.
  • 57. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 55conscious effort to prompt their ELL students tocommunicate experience and share ideas usingacademic English—the vocabulary, grammar, andstrategies for organizing information that make forschool success. In this arts-oriented endeavor, sixth-grade ELL students are organized as a performingensemble to create an original theater piece thatexplores personal and cultural identity. Students aregiven written, visual, and movement-based promptsto examine their beliefs, values, opinions, hopes,fears, joys, and personal histories. Encouraged touse poetic language, supported by gesture and pho-tographs, students practice new levels of vocabulary,more advanced grammar, and the expression oforiginal, complex ideas. Zsiba describes the essenceof the project:At its core, the Identity Project presents an opportunityfor young people to speak about themselves in a safespace. Through this project...students find that theirvoices are worthy of being heard, worthy of a stage.Ultimately, this course is about building a creative fam-ily, taking risks, becoming proud, and learning how tosurprise yourself.Indeed, students’ writing for the project is power-ful and expressive, as evident in this excerpt froma collective class poem titled “I Am From Us,” inwhich they reflect on their experiences as strangersand immigrants:I am from the place where people love to danceAnd no one judges you because of who you areI am from the nightfall, from the further,From becoming lost and traveling too farI am from no certain placeNo certain space or faceIt has no name…but like a memory, it is stuck inmy mind 
In composing this poem, the students workedhard to find the vocabulary that would capturetheir experience: no one judges, nightfall, traveling, nocertain space. At the same time, they collaboratedon sequencing their individual contributions into alarger whole. While a poem is not an essay, this kindof careful choosing and sequencing provides fun-damental practice in using a second language to gobeyond literal communications. That students in theclass think about learning English and about howthey can improve their own language skills testifiesto the project’s effectiveness. One sixth grader ex-presses the personal impact: “In the Identity Project,I learned that I was smart. I learned that I can donew things—that I can dance and write a poem. Ididn’t know that, but now I know!”Using Time WellRoger Williams educators ensure that the time theirstudents spend engaged with the arts (and in aca-demic subjects that integrate the arts) is valuable,through three deep partnerships that the school hasforged with local institutions. These partnershipsoperate on two levels: First, they supplement schoolpersonnel with artists, and, in so doing, they raisethe quality level of programming available duringthe regular school day. Second, the partnershipsextend and diversify the school’s educational pro-grams, thanks to a wide range of out-of-school andafter-school activities.An Expanded Partnership for LearningThe three partners each bring their own specialfocus and capacity to these students. For the past twodecades, the first partner, Providence ¡CityArts! forYouth, has been a community arts organization witha mission to provide free professional arts educationto local young people between the ages of 8 and 14.Acknowledging the need for arts learning both inand out of school, ¡CityArts! wrote and won a three-year AmeriCorps grant to fund the Expanded DayTeaching Artist Project (EDTAP). This project sup-ports 5 full-time (1,700 hours/year) and 21 part-time(300 hours/year) AmeriCorps fellows to work asteaching artists at Roger Williams and at a secondProvidence middle school. Three of the Roger Wil-liams fellows work both as teaching assistants to theschool’s three arts teachers and as arts-integrationspecialists to academic classroom teachers. The fel-lows also help to coordinate special arts events atthe school and teach arts-based classes in the after-school program that is located atRoger Williams.Fellow Charlene Pratt, a recentgraduate from the theater programat Rhode Island College, helps outin Kaydi McQuade’s classroom. Asstudents prepared their Children’sMarch performance, Pratt was onhand to help them learn the basicvocabulary of stagecraft, as wellas the core concepts of dramaticpresentations (e.g., “What are themost important dramatic moments?“The Identity Project is about buildinga creative family, taking risks...andlearning how to surprise yourself.”
  • 58. 56 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationYou can’t show it all; which ones really communicatewhy we should be remembering this event?”). In return,Pratt received both a stipend and valuable teachingexperience.The second partnership revolves around out-of-school activities. Roger Williams Middle School isthe South Providence campus for the ProvidenceAfter School Alliance (PASA), which provides out-of-school learning in the form of elective coursesthroughout the school year and for four weeks ofthe summer. A city-wide initiative with the missionto expand and improve after-school opportunities,PASA organizes a system designed to give all youthaccess to high-quality programs. The organizationhas developed a site management model that bringstogether a community-based organization designedto oversee the day-to-day operation of what PASAcalls its “AfterZone,” or after-school “campus,” whichis “anchored” by one or more schools. Each of theseAfterZones offers a network of providers that havecome together to furnish after-school learning formiddle school students. In South Providence, theBoys Girls Clubs of Providence and the Roger Wil-liams Middle School are PASA AfterZone partners.Programs are offered at the school site and also atother locations throughout the neighborhood. TheSouth Providence AfterZone providers include:a Audubon Society of Rhode Islanda The College Crusade of Rhode Islanda City Year, Rhode Islanda Hispanic United Development Organizationa Providence ¡City Arts! for Youtha Center for Dynamic Learninga Save the Baya Inspiring Mindsa YMCA of Greater Providencea Deep Righteous RecordsAll of these programs are free, and they offersnacks and transportation. Students sign up on afirst-come, first-served basis for school-year sessionsthat run 10 weeks, as well as a 4-week summer ses-sion. As many as 1 in 3 Roger Williams students (i.e.,about 300) stay on campus to participate. During the2012 winter session, fully half of all the AfterZoneofferings (8 of 16) focused on the arts:a Drum Circlea ¡CityArts! Dance Jama Bling Bling: Jewelry Designa AfterZone Cinemaa Roger Williams Yearbook Cluba ¡CityArts!/EDTAP CRAFTernoon Delighta Latin Dancea Teen Art RiotThe availability of free, on-campus learning op-portunities means that students have access to artslearning in venues they know and that their familiestrust. As recent PASA research shows, students whocontinue to participate in successive sessions demon-strate more positive effects—both in terms of theirown social development and on their attendance re-cords—than students who attend more infrequently.In a third collaboration, Roger Williams also part-ners with a nearby high school to provide middleschool students with a direct link to older mentorsand to offer them a concrete path for furthering theireducation. The Met High School is a charter schoolfeaturing internship-based learning. Twice a week,two students from the Met spend a morning intern-ing in Kaydi McQuade’s English/drama class. Dur-ing these periods, the older students support RogerWilliams’s arts-integrated learning, while they alsowork to strengthen their own individual knowledgeand skills. Their internships will earn these studentscredits, so they can transition from the entry level(grades 9–10) to the senior level (grades 11–12) divi-sions of their high school. Moreover, the older stu-dents stand as role models for the middle school-ers at Roger Williams. As teaching assistants,they help to facilitate the programmatic elementsthat support inquiry-based education. The resultis a system of interlocking arts-learning opportu-nities for all.For the Children’s March project, for example,one high school intern worked closely with thegroup conducting research on the signs andslogans of the Civil Rights era. A second internhelped out with the choreography for the key dra-matic moments, and found that this experiencebecame a serendipitous opportunity to researchand think about a separate project she is doing onbullying. Watching the successful peer-to-peercollaboration on the theater piece, the high schoolstudent considered strategies that might reducestudent tensions at any school.Roger Williams Middle School
  • 59. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 57More “tough-minded” arts integration: The ¡CityArts!AmeriCorps program continues during the 2012–13academic year. For a new group of team membersjoining the faculty at Roger Williams, the emphasiscontinues to be on projects where the arts can makea unique and powerful contribution to academiclearning. As Victoria Rey, one of the former Ameri-Corps team members, points out:There are degrees of arts integration. Sometimes [bring-ing the arts into academic classrooms] just assists orillustrates, and other times, it can really drive the chal-lenge and the learning. We want the work from ¡City-Arts! to be on the driving end of that spectrum. Now thatteachers have seen what the arts can do for interest andeffort in their classrooms, they are ready for the nextstep. We have built a digital archive of our work, so nextyear’s team members can stand on our shoulders.Vacation and summer learning: As research showsand experience teaches, progress in learning madeover the course of the academic year often erodesover school breaks—especially during longer periodslike summer vacation. Both ¡CityArts! and PASAare working on strategies to enroll more RogerWilliams students in learning opportunities duringthese break periods to keep engagement up andachievement high.There is no question that Roger Williams MiddleSchool still has much to accomplish. But these days,when one walks down the history-steeped halls,there is a sense here of a fresh start: a new road map,one that both expanded learning time and the artshave helped to chart.Toward the FutureRoger Williams Middle School is at the beginningof a journey. The faculty strive to convert what hasbeen increasing student motivation and engagement,fueled, in part, by the arts, into real impact on stu-dent achievement. And there is evidence of progress.The school’s 2011 test scores in both reading andmath showed improvements from the beginning ofseventh grade to the beginning of eighth grade. Thepercentages of students scoring at the lowest level(Tier 1) dropped from 41 to 24 in reading and from 70to 58 in math. Correspondingly, the percentages ofstudents scoring at the proficient level (Tier 3) andabove rose from 23 to 36 in reading and from 11 to 20in math. Since 2009, when Roger Williams becamea turnaround school, its students have averaged60-point gains on district-wide formative assess-ments in the new intervention math classes. Thesegains are the highest of any middle school in thedistrict. While the absolute levels of student achieve-ment here are still unacceptably low, clearly there ismovement in the right direction.Beyond these increases in proficiency amongRoger Williams students, there are additional signsthat the school has begun to be more effective:a Classroom observations conducted by theprincipal and district staff, for example, showthat, since the beginning of the 2011-12 schoolyear, teachers are 75 percent more likely torequire that students use critical thinking skillslike application, analysis, and synthesis.a observations also show that more thantwice as many classrooms have highly engagedstudents.a Chronic absenteeism has dropped from42 percent to 29 percent.a Discipline referrals have decreased by10 percent.Of course, educators at Roger Williams know theirwork to strengthen student achievement and engage-ment is far from over. They acknowledge that evenas the arts have contributed significantly to startingthe school’s turnaround, what is happening now intheir building and with their students does not yetmeet their hopes of all that could be. Their vision—a school where both academic skills and creativethinking skills improve significantly—includes thefollowing elements:Enrichment for all: The faculty recognizes that en-richment activities and electives are now reachingstudents who are already among the most successfulstudents at the school. Their challenge is to developa schedule and staffing plan that would providestudents at every achievement level with motivatingand engaging arts experiences, alongside equally im-portant intervention and academic support sessions.WilliamsRogerArts Education at the Core:Many academic classes integrate arts activities and sensibilities,like the dramatic renderings of the Civil Rights movement, into theircurriculum.Organizing to Support Arts Education:Three central community partnerships supplement and enhancearts integration and bring a second layer of staffing to the school.The Power of Arts Education to Engage:School Highlight—The “Identity Project” offers students ways tofind their own voices, through staging dramatic productions andwriting poetry.AdvancingArts Education
  • 60. 58 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationFor the past several years, leaders in policy andeducation alike have focused intensively on how toimplement higher standards of learning, raise stu-dent achievement, and increase teacher effective-ness. However, as they strive toward these laudableand necessary goals, many educators have becomeconcerned that something vital may be lost. Op-erating within a traditional school day and year,these teachers and administrators find it difficult,if not impossible, to maintain a laser-like focus onproficiency in reading and math while simultane-ously engaging and enlightening students througha wider, deeper range of competencies and pursuits.Such constraints stem not from a lack of imagina-tion on the educators’ part, but instead from thereality that the conventional school calendar limitswhat they can reasonably accomplish. Indeed, with-out sufficient time to furnish both strong academ-ics and deep enrichment, most schools—especiallythose that serve large populations of low-incomestudents—may be structurally incapable of offeringa truly well-rounded education.The case studies in Advancing Arts Educationthrough An Expanded School Day show how fiveLastingImpressionsValuingTimefortheArtsDrawing information, inspiration,and guidance from five schoolsdedicated to arts education
  • 61. BBBBIt is possible to set highacademic expectations andprovide students opportunitiesto pursue their passions.
  • 62. 60 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts Educationschools are reconciling this tension.They prove it is possible to constructan educational program that sets highexpectations for academics and onethat furnishes students with abundantopportunities to pursue their artisticpassions. At these schools, students canadvance in math and reading, even asthey engage with music, dance, theater,painting, graphic design, and anynumber of other art forms. The leadersat these schools are the first to admit thatsustaining this dual commitment—or,more accurately, a singular commitmentto multifaceted student growth—is noteasy. Embedding and continuouslystrengthening high-quality artseducation requires steady leadership,highly effective teachers, and sufficienttime within the school day and year forstudents to realize, advance, and apply adiverse range of skills and knowledge.As the five schools profiled in thisreport demonstrate, sustaining such acommitment is eminently achievable,and, for this reason, they have much toteach us. Through their experiences,we can discern three distinct, thoughinterdependent, streams of policyand practice that make possible theireducational success. Together, these keyfindings, described here, form a kindof map that other educators can followin pursuit of a well-rounded, enrichededucation, one that also enables strongacademic achievement. With the rightstructure and supports and, significantly,the time to innovate and implementapproaches that best meet the needs ofall students, schools can indeed createmeaningful arts education programs.Valuing Time for the ArtsKey findings1 Educators at the profiledschools consider arts classesto be a core feature of theircomprehensive educationalprogram.Across the five schools, administratorsand teachers share a common outlook on the pivotalrole the arts can play in life and in learning. Theseeducators believe that a well-rounded education—by which they mean an educational program thatallows for exploration and discovery in a wide rangeof activities and venues, with a particular emphasison the arts—is what their students need and deserve.Beyond any particular programmatic element, thisperspective shapes the ways that arts are valued andprioritized at these individual schools. Essentially,students are held to similarly high expectations inboth their arts classes and their academic courses.Within their shared commitment to strong per-formance, the academic and arts teachers at theseschools focus on helping their students to developand hone certain skills and to attain a recognized,school-wide set of goals. Philosophically and practi-cally, these schools’ faculties value arts endeavors,understanding how such engagement can help toadvance a variety of competencies—from problem-solving to teamwork—even if these advancementscannot be easily measured. Indeed, the educatorstalk confidently about what students gain fromparticipation in, and study of, the arts—includingincreased persistence, improved communicationskills, boosted self-confidence, and a well-developedability to work collaboratively.As a result of these educators’ outlook and sharedcommitment, the arts play a key role in the educa-tional programs at these schools, while also provid-ing academic teachers with new avenues to connectwith students. Moreover, no matter what the subjectmatter, teachers at the five featured schools areready, willing, and able to collaborate with their col-leagues to bring arts-oriented curricular elementsinto academic classrooms. Projects like the EdwardsMiddle School’s collaborative unit on the cultureof the Great Depression, or the multidisciplinary“World of Hurt” curriculum at Metro, or the RogerWilliams dramatic production of a key moment inthe civil rights movement, illustrate how facultymembers at these schools feel encouraged to designlessons that push students to think beyond a com-partmentalized approach to learning.These teachers’ strong collaborative relation-ships further ensure that the high regard given to
  • 63. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 61the arts at their schools will have stayingpower. The significant place that “specials”(typically, visual arts, music, library, andphysical education) maintain within theseschools’ structures underscores the con-tinued prominence of the arts. Further,specials and, especially, the specialist teach-ers, do not occupy a lower place in the tacithierarchy that often exists within schools.Rather, as the library teacher at Cole Artsand Sciences Academy (CASA) put it, “I’veseen schools where the specialists are basically treat-ed as glorified babysitters.... But here we are equalsto the subject teachers. We feel totally integrated.”2 Educators organizetheir school days and staffingto reflect the central role ofthe arts and dedicatesufficient time to theirpractice.Because the arts are seen as essential toa high-quality education and the schools have alonger school day, students have considerable time toencounter, experience, and engage with a wide rangeof arts activities where they can develop considerableaptitude. To be sure, these educators are not attempt-ing to turn all of their students into artists or musi-cians or performers. Instead, faculty at these schoolsbelieve that for educational experiences in the artsto produce their intended beneficial effects, studentsneed ample time to explore, practice, and internal-ize the arts-inspired competencies and perspectives.Further, these educators feel that students who dowish to forge and follow artistic paths should be giv-en enough dedicated time to pursue these endeavors,and to move toward proficiency and even mastery.In concrete terms, this time commitment meansthat each school profiled in these pages devotes atleast one hour each day to classes in the arts. Fortwo of the schools—Edwards Middle School andThe schools ensure that studentshave considerable time to encounter,experience, and engage with the arts.
  • 64. 62 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationBerkshire Arts Technology Charter Public School(BART)—the time students engage in the arts can becloser to three hours daily. Additionally, because thearts are viewed as more than merely enjoyable activ-ities that are “nice to have,” and more than “rewards”for good academic performance, at four of theseschools, all students participate in the arts, just asthey do in English and math, while the fifth school isseeking to shift toward universal student participa-tion. Ultimately, the educators in all these schoolsrespect, to use the words of Edwards Principal LeoFlannagan, Jr., the “sanctity of the arts.”Even allocating an ample quantity of time for thearts, in and of itself, is not sufficient to have realeducational impact, however; the time spent must beof high quality. For this reason, the schools featuredin Advancing Arts Education put in place threegeneral practices to augment the likelihood that thearts will remain meaningful. First, the schools hirefull-time teachers of visual and performing arts, whoare not only talented artists in their own right, butalso competent educators. Typically, these teachersare quite adept at conveying a certain playfulweightiness to their craft. That is, theydo not take lightly the substantial effortthat both they and their students shouldput into their work, yet they appreciatethat such endeavors should also evokecomfort and joy. As one educator/artistat BART remembers thinking when hefirst arrived at the school: “I had nevermet classroom teachers with that kind ofcommitment to the arts as a way of knowing. Rightaway, I knew I could balance my life as an artist andas a teacher there.”The second method that schools employ in orderto raise the caliber of their arts education is to holdtheir arts and academic teachers to equally highperformance expectations. In practice, this meansthat the arts specialists are overseen (i.e., evaluatedand coached) with the same intensity as all full-timeteachers are, including regular classroom visitsfrom administrators and concomitant review andfeedback on lesson plans. At CASA, for example, theprincipal maintains primary responsibility for theprofessional development of the specialist teachers.At Edwards Middle School, administrators andspecialty teachers have collaborated on a rubric todefine and measure progress and proficiency inskills taught through the arts.Third, the educators at these schools recognizethat the specialist teachers, for all their capacity,often cannot, on their own, provide a superior degreeof instruction across the full range of arts-orientedactivities. Therefore, schools frequently bring inAllowing ample time for the arts is notsufficient to have real impact; the timespent must be of high quality.
  • 65. Advancing Arts Education National Center on Time Learning 63community partners to connect and engage studentswith professional artists, musicians, and performers.Dance students at the Edwards, for example, workwith instructors from the Boston Ballet, while socialstudies classes at Roger Williams benefit from hav-ing their teacher collaborate with a visual artist toenhance the curriculum.3 Educators value howthe arts leverage engagementand achievement in school.Engagement flows in two directions. For artseducation to inspire them to learn in new ways andto broaden their perspective, students must first feelinvested in these opportunities. The mechanism ofchoice is one of the most powerful levers schoolshave to capture students’ attention and interest.Endowing students with the authority to choosethe art forms they wish to pursue almost inevitablymeans that they approach these endeavors withsome sense of ownership. Such “buy-in” stands as afoundation on which the schools build enrichmentprogramming to further and deepen students’involvement with, and pursuit of, the arts. Quitesimply, the more motivated students are to takeon the challenge of developing their aptitude andtalents in a particular art form, the more likely theyare to succeed. An arts program based on choiceincreases the likelihood that such motivation ispresent from the start.Providing students ample choice is not as simpleas it sounds, of course, and it implies that two com-ponents of a school’s arts program are in place. First,schools must offer a broad array of arts opportuni-ties; if there were only a few options to choose from,the activator of choice would be hollow. At Metro,for example, the possibilities include filmmaking,graphic design, and theater; at Roger Williams,classes include jewelry design, drum circle, andLatin dance. The lists of offerings, at these schoolsand the others featured here, go on and on. Furnish-ing these many options takes central coordinationand the involvement of numerous partners thatbring outside resources and personnel to supplementwhat the school is able to offer on its own.At its root, engagement in the arts offers individu-als the chance to discover their niche, their passion.For many older students and those most excited bythe arts, breadth of choice often yields to a yearningfor deeper opportunities. And so, schools strive toprovide a second component: paths where studentscan continuously develop and hone their talents,progressing along a course that demands increasingdegrees of artistry. Educators in these schools oftenview engagement with the arts as a way to cultivatestudents’ interests in particular pursuits and as ameans to further learning more generally. As such,academic teachers will frequently guide students toaccess content through art forms, while arts teacherswill help students come to appreciate that knowledgegained through their traditional academic classescan be instrumental to artistic pursuits. At Metro, forexample, a history project evolves into the making ofa documentary film; at BART, geometry principlesare applied to a specialty course on architecture. Inthis way, the arts open new avenues for educationalsuccess that can be accessible to all.With their emphasis on decompartmentalizingeducation, these schools also seek to ease and extendthe boundaries between them and their surroundingcommunities, frequently using the arts again as thevehicle to forge and further these connections. TheBART high school students who explore thehistory of local parcels of land in rural westernMassachusetts and the middle schoolers at RogerWilliams who have produced artwork for ¡CityArts!,the Providence artists’ collaborative, are givenmultiple occasions to apply what they learn in classto what they see and know in their hometowns.The Impact of Expanded TimeThese attitudes and practices are intricately woveninto the fabric of schools that offer more learningtime in their daily schedules and throughout theacademic year. Why is more time so essential? In aword—opportunity. More time gives educators innu-merable opportunities to offer students more classesand activities in the arts, without cutting back onEnglish language arts, math, science, or other aca-demic subjects. Yet, it is far from a guarantee thatthese many enriched and diverse opportunities willproduce the positive outcomes envisioned. Indeed,the educators at the schools profiled in this reportare continuously shaping and reshaping their ap-proaches and their programs to enable these possi-bilities to be realized and these prospects to flourish.The history of BART is especially instructive.Administrators and faculty confronted the realitythat, in its first years, their school was not success-ful at raising student achievement or providing afully enriched education. Even though they hadanticipated that maintaining a focus on the arts andtechnology, while also expanding total in-schooltime, should have led to a robust student learningenvironment, such an outcome did not occur. So,with heavy doses of self-reflection and a willingnessto rethink and redesign the implementation of theireducational program and the policies and personnelto support it, BART educators moved to better lever-age their school’s assets—including more time—toimprove individual student achievement, as well asschool outcomes overall.
  • 66. 64 National Center on Time Learning Advancing Arts EducationJust as the quality ofimplementation—howeducators come to set highexpectations and thenwork continuously to meet them—can be the pivotpoint between success and disappointment, so, too,developing sound implementation plans at the outsetis also essential, and this is a process that takes sometime. School personnel cannot expect that an excel-lent educational model will magically emerge justbecause they wish it would. Instead, schools mustbuild in time for thinking about, and tinkering with,different components of their model to allow them totake full shape. At Cole, for example, administratorsworked with teachers to collect real data about timeuse in the school, including how teachers allottedtime within their classrooms and how many min-utes throughout the day were spent on transitionsbetween classes and other non-instructional activi-ties. The purpose of the exercise was, first, to identifythose moments in the day when time was not beingdirected effectively toward student learning, andthen, to reconfigure the schedule toward the goal ofmaximizing learning time.Finally, the question that inevitably emergesfrom studying schools that create an enriched, well-rounded education through the arts is how they(and we) are to measure short- and long-term suc-cess. This challenge has prompted the high schoolsfeatured in these pages—BART and Metro—tointegrate portfolios as a means of demonstratingand tracking their students’ growth. Meanwhile, Ed-wards Middle School is developing teaching rubricsto raise the quality of instruction in arts classes andensure that student expectations are clear. Despitesuch innovations, however, education leaders at allfive schools acknowledge that, in the finalanalysis, it is somewhat difficult to ac-count quantitatively for the ways in whicharts education is generating positive im-pacts on individual student learning.While these educators are certainlyproud of their students’ strong (orimproving) test scores, and while theyassert that such results offer proof thatthe intensive focus on arts does nottake away from academic learning andaccomplishment, these outcomes are notwhat justifies their strong commitment toarts education. Indeed, the practitionersdo not generally believe that there is adirect (that is to say, causal) relationshipbetween, for example, acting in a playand achieving proficiency on an Englishtest. Rather, their rationale encompassesthe more intangible benefits of artseducation, benefits that operate ontwo levels. First, educators in theseschools highlight some of the very same underlyinginstrumental advantages of arts education thatresearchers have put forward. In arts classes andactivities, they observe their students developingpersistence and a willingness to work hard, gainingself-confidence and an improved capacity to expressthemselves clearly, while honing their abilities tosolve problems.Second, the principal and teachers at these schoolsalso extol how arts education supports what theytake to be their own broader mission: to provide thechildren and adolescents in their charge with op-portunities that teach them about the wider world,help them to discover and nurture their passions,and enliven their spirits. These educators view thearts as uniquely positioned to offer these benefits,even as their intrinsic value is difficult to account forin any precise way. As the principal of the Edwardsmaintains, “It is courageous…to dedicate such timeand effort to activities whose benefits cannot easilybe measured.” Still, watching what his students haveaccomplished—both in their artistic pursuits and intheir academic classes—gives him supreme confi-dence, as it does for educators across the five schools,that this “courageous” effort is wholly worthwhile.Arts education, when it is approached with theseriousness of purpose exemplified by the schoolsprofiled in this report, can be a powerful mediumthrough which students come to love learning, strivefor excellence, and imagine a fulfilling, purposefullife. As one eighth grader we interviewed warmlydescribes, “This school is like my second home andour arts teachers are wonderful. They help me tobuild up my strength, to express myself, and to thinkabout my future.” What more could we ask fromeducation than that?BBBBSchools must build intime for thinking about, andtinkering with, componentsof their model to allow themto take full shape.Valuing Time for the Arts
  • 67. 1 Goals 2000 includes the following as acomponent of the identified “nationaleducational goals”: “By the year 2000, allstudents will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 hav-ing demonstrated competency over chal-lenging subject matter including English,mathematics, science, foreign languages,civics and government, economics, arts,history, and geography”. (Emphasisadded.) For more information, see theAmericans for the Arts Online ResourceCenter at and for information about nationaland state standards in the arts, see Kevin F. McCarthy, Elizabeth H.Dondaatje, Laura Zakaras, and ArthurBrooks, Gifts of the Muse: Reframing theDebate About the Benefits of the Arts (SantaMonica, CA: The RAND Corporation,2004), p. 27.3 James Catterall, Richard Chapleauand John Iwanaga, “Involvement in theArts and Human Development: GeneralInvolvement and Intensive Involvementin Music and Theater Arts,” in EdwardFiske, ed., Champions of Change: The Im-pact of the Arts on Learning (Washington,DC: President’s Committee on the Artsand Humanities, 1999). Their investiga-tion found that students’ participationin a “high arts” cohort (i.e., students whotook two or three art classes in school overthe course of 8th and 10th grades and whoalso may have participated in art activitiesout of school) was correlated for unknownreasons with getting somewhat more Asand Bs in 8th grade and on higher mathand reading scores in tenth grade. Thestudy also found correlation between alower drop-out rate and high arts partici-pation, along with a greater likelihood toexpress a desire to be active in the com-munity. Other studies that uncoveredassociations between participation inparticular arts programs or classes andhigher academic outcomes include B.J.Whitehead, The Effect of Music-intensiveIntervention on Mathematics Scores of Mid-dle and High School Students. Unpublisheddissertation, Dissertation Abstracts In-ternational, 62 (08), 2710A; Donald A.Hodges and Debra S. O’Connell, “TheImpact of Music Education on AcademicAchievement,” in Sounds of Learning: TheImpact of Music Education (Carlsbad, CA:International Foundation for Music Re-search, 2005); and M.F. Gardiner, et al,“Learning Improved by Arts Training,”Nature, 381 (1996), 284.4 Ellen Winner and Monica Cooper,“Mute Those Claims: No Evidence (Yet)for a Causal Link between Arts Study andAcademic Achievement,” Journal of Aes-thetic Education, 34:3 (Fall–Winter 2000),pp. 11–75. Also see, Richard J. Deasy, ed.,Critical Links: Learning in the Arts andStudent Academic and Social Development(Washington, DC: Arts Education Part-nership, 2002).5 McCarthy, et al, Gifts of the Muse, p. 34.6 See, for example, Deasy, ed., CriticalLinks. As Deasy argues in the introduc-tion, the scholars featured in the com-pendium, “repeatedly make the pointthat knowing the full range of effects ofarts learning requires assessment instru-ments that can validly and reliably iden-tify and measure the outcomes of artsinstruction.” (p. iv).7 S. Tishman, D. MacGillivray, and P.Palmer, Investigating the Educational Im-pact and Potential of the Museum of ModernArt’s Visual Thinking Curriculum: FinalReport (Cambridge, MA: Harvard ProjectZero, 1999). In addition, two meta-anal-yses determined that listening to musicdefinitively enhances students’ ability tovisualize and mentally manipulate pat-terns, a skill necessary for solving multi-step problems. (Lois Hetland, “Listeningto Music Enhances Spatial-temporal Rea-soning: Evidence for the ‘Mozart-Effect,’”The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34:3(Fall–Winter 2000), pp. 105–148.)8 Teresa Cremin, et al, “ConnectingDrama and Writing: Seizing the Momentto Write,” Research in Drama Education:The Journal of Applied Theatre and Perfor-mance, 11:3 (November 2006) pp. 273–291.9 Dorothy Valcarcel Craig and JohnnaParaiso, “Dual Diaspora and Barrio Art:Arts an Avenue for Learning English,”Journal for Learning through the Arts, 4:1(2008).10 Lois Hetland, et al, Studio Habits: TheReal Benefits of Visual Arts Education(New York, NY: Teachers College Press,2007).11 Cassandra Kisiel, et al, “Evaluationof a Theater-based Youth Violence Pre-vention Program for Elementary SchoolChildren,” Journal of School Violence, 5:2(2006), pp. 19–36. See also: M. Gervais,“Exploring Moral Values with YoungAdolescents through Process Drama,”International Journal of Education theArts, 7:2 (2006).12 McCarthy, et al, Gifts of the Muse, pp.xiv–xv.13QuotedinRobinPogrebin,“BookTack-les Old Debate: Role of Art in Schools,”The New York Times, 4 August 2007.14 Elliot Eisner, The Arts and the CreationofMind, (New Haven, CT: Yale UniversityPress, 2002), p. 90.15 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity:Flow and the Psychology of Discovery andInvention (New York: HarperCollins,1997).16 Steve Seidel, Shari Tishman, EllenWinner, Lois Hetland, and Patricia Palm-er, The Qualities of Quality: UnderstandingExcellence in Arts Education (Cambridge,MA: Harvard Graduate School of Educa-tion, 2011), p. 21.17 Andrew Harrison quoted in Wayne C.Booth, TheCompanyWeKeep:AnEthicsofFiction (Los Angeles: University of Cali-fornia, 1988), p. 1.18 McCarthy, et al, Gifts of the Muse, pp.40–42.19 President’s Committee on the Arts andthe Humanities, Reinvesting in Arts Edu-cation: Winning America’s Future throughCreative Schools (Washington, DC: Au-thor, 2009), p. 1– 2.20 Ibid., p. 2.21 Jennifer McMurre, Instructional Timein Elementary Schools: A Closer Look atChanges for Specific Subjects (Washington,DC: Center on Education Policy, Febru-ary 2008). Farkas Duffet Research Group,Learning Less: Public School Teachers De-scribe a Narrowing Curriculum (Washing-ton, DC: Common Core, 2011).22 Nick Rabkin, “Looking for Mr. GoodArgument: The Arts and the Search fora Leg to Stand on in Public Education.”Address delivered at the Thought LeaderForum on Arts and Education, 24 June2010, Baltimore, MD.23 Catterall, Chapleau, and Iwanaga, “In-volvement in the Arts,” p. 7.24 Government Accountability Office,Access to Arts Education: Inclusion of Ad-ditional Questions in Education’s PlannedResearchWouldHelpExplainWhyInstruc-tion Time Has Decreased for Some Students(Washington, DC: Author, 2009).25 McCarthy, et al, Gifts of the Muse, pp.64–65.26 Seidel, et al, The Qualities of Quality,pp. 44–45.27 Ibid., p. 45.Endnotes AcknowledgementsAdvancing Arts Educationthrough an Expanded SchoolDay: Lessons from Five SchoolsAUTHORSDavid FarbmanSenior Researcher, NCTL“The Frame”Cole Arts and Sciences Academy“Lasting Impressions”Dennie Palmer WolfPrincipal, WolfBrownBerkshire Arts TechnologyMetropolitan Arts and TechnologyRoger WilliamsDiane SherlockEditorial Director, NCTLClarence Edwards Middle SchoolNCTL PROJECT DIRECTORSJennifer DavisCo-Founder PresidentClaire KaplanVice President for KnowledgeManagement StrategyDESIGNRonn Campisi DesignPHOTOGRAPHYGustav FreedmanJohn Gillooly, PeiPhotoAdditional photography provided by thefive profiled schoolsWe wish to thank three individualsfrom The Wallace Foundation for theirexpertise and insights in developingthis study:Lucas Bernays HeldDirector of CommunicationsEdward PaulyDirector of Research and EvaluationNina SonenbergCommunications OfficerWe also appreciate the contributionsof the following members of the NCTLteam:Blair BrownDirector of Communications ExternalAffairsGeorge MastorasManager of CommunicationsMegan WelchManager of Strategic Development
  • 68. National Center on Time Learning24 School Street, 3rd floorBoston, MA 02108Tel (617) 378-3940 Fax (617) 723-6746www.timeandlearning.orgJoin us on Facebook@expanding_timeThe Wallace Foundation5 Penn Plaza, 7th floorNew York, NY 10001Tel (212) 251-9700 Fax (212) 679-6990www.wallacefoundation.orgJoin us on Facebook@WallaceFdn