Title 1 Program Embraces Arts Education to Improve Educational Outcomes for Low-Income Students

Inocente, subject of Academy Award®-winning short documentary, will speak about the value of arts

January 31, 2014

Los Angeles, CA – Signaling widespread support for arts education within the Title 1 program, the California Alliance for Arts Education has been invited to present their policy paper, Embracing Arts Education Strategies to Achieve Title 1 Goals, at the closing plenary session of the National Title 1 conference on February 5, 2014 in San Diego.

The Alliance’s policy paper documents how schools and districts can embrace the arts
in their Title 1 programs to increase student engagement, academic achievement and parent involvement. The panel will be moderated by the Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education Dr. Chism and two of the authors of the policy paper, Alliance Executive Director, Joe Landon and Dr. Lauren Stevenson, researcher with Junction Box Consulting, as well as Jeff Breshears, California Department of Education, Matt D’Arrigo, ARTS a Reason to Survive, Merryl Goldberg, California State University San Marcos, Jonathan Raymond, superintendent of Sacramento City Unified, Lynn Tuttle, Arizona Department of Education, Steve Venz, principal of Quincy Jones Elementary School (LAUSD) as panelists.

The session will also include remarks from Inocente, a young woman who was the subject of an Academy Award®-winning documentary described as “an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings” and featured in the California Alliance’s Student Voices Campaign, a platform for young people to share their creativity and passion for the arts with their elected officials.

Despite a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the ability of arts education to help advance the goals of Title I, a 2011 survey conducted by Arts for All, found that students attending Title I schools in Los Angeles had disproportionately low access to arts education compared to more economically advantaged peers. This finding echoed 2 results of a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education.1 In response, the California Alliance worked to clarify a policy pathway – a shared understanding aligned across school, district, state and federal levels of leadership regarding what is allowable when it comes to expending Title I funds on arts education. “Our goal is to address the question posed by the challenge of federal Title I funding: how can we improve educational outcomes for low-income students who are often underserved in public schools,” said Joe Landon, Executive Director of the California Alliance and one of the authors of the paper.

These efforts have yielded unequivocal support from local, state and federal education officials. Last June, the California Alliance received a copy of a letter addressed to Title I State Coordinators from Dr. Monique Chism, Director, Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education. In it, Dr. Chism addresses inquiries she’s received about the role of arts education within the Title I, Part A

Building on this foundation, the Alliance is now working with a cohort of ten California schools to document best practices for Title I schools to engage in arts education strategies to achieve Title I goals. They will share the results in a second policy paper and in a series of eight regional convenings, over the next year, to help other schools and districts throughout the state understand the appropriate use of Title I funds to support arts education strategies to increase student academic achievement, parental involvement, and student engagement.

In collaboration with the California County Superintendents Education Services Association (CCSESA) and the Alliance’s long-term consulting partner on Title I arts integration, Lauren Stevenson of Junction Box Consulting, the Alliance will build the website infrastructure for an online resource to help guide school leaders through using the Title I annual school plan planning cycle to plan and evaluate Title I arts education strategies as well as tools and resources that they might need to successfully execute each of the cycle’s seven steps. The Alliance will bring the cycle to life by providing, for each of the seven steps, at least one case example of how a school has used key related tools and resources.

A digital copy of the paper is available at:

Contact: Sibyl O’Malley
(213) 713 – 6885