One of our 4Culture values is to meet communities where they are at as we work on building access to arts and culture. For the youth of King County, this largely means we need to meet them at school—how well are students able to engage with art as part of their education? We recently partnered with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction—OSPI—to learn more, starting with data. Now, we’re proud to share the King County Arts Education Data Dashboard!
This project provides crucial information to education leaders, teachers, families, and community partners about who is participating in arts education in King County’s high schools and who is not. The data shows that students receiving free and reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities, and students who are English language learners all participate in the arts at lower levels than peers who are not in these categories. Race and ethnicity demographics also show disparities when compared to the student body as a whole.
The arts are not optional enrichment activities. Our state school districts are required to teach and measure students’ progress in this core subject, and the existing requirement of one arts credit for high school graduation was recently increased so that the class of 2019 onwards will be required to have two arts credits on their high school transcript. Futhermore, new opportunities for careers and livelihoods are rapidly emerging in the creative economy. Students who have the opportunity to develop strong creativity and critical thinking skills through arts classes will be ready to take advantage of these opportunities.
Arts requirements for students increase their chances of success later on, yet the Data Dashboard shows where gaps in access exist—this is a starting point for ensuring that all students are empowered to engage with art. Dig into the Data Dashboard and learn more about the project in this FAQ.