Since late 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts has collaborated with Education Commission of the States to promote more and better information on young people’s access to, and participation in, arts education. Our joint initiative, the State Data Infrastructure Project for Arts Education, has resulted in tools to help states extract, analyze and report on data about arts education. SDIP also provided states across the country technical assistance to improve their capacity to mount arts education data initiatives of their own.
States’ data systems are more robust than they have ever been, and inexpensive data visualization software has toppled barriers to analyzing and reporting on education data. Yet before SDIP, there were few tools to help arts stakeholders take advantage of these conditions. SDIP has resulted in powerful, free resources to help anyone who wants to review, analyze and report on arts education data their states already collect. These resources aim to demystify this work by offering concrete guidance on the condition of state data systems, what kinds of information most systems could produce and what it takes to pursue an arts education data initiative.
Identify key arts education metrics you can track. The special report, Using State Data Systems to Report Information on Arts Education, describes information on arts education many states could share by analyzing and reporting on data they already collect.
Explore what arts education data your state collects and reports. The 50-State Comparison of Arts Education Data and Reporting reviews what data each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia collect through their statewide data systems, and which states report on those data.
Learn how other states have used arts education data to expand access. Case studies of arts education data initiatives in California, New Jersey and Texas show what’s possible when state and community leaders come together to ensure that families, educators and policymakers have much better information about students’ opportunities in arts education.
Get detailed guidance on how to pursue your own arts education data initiative. The Arts Education Data Toolkit offers instructions, worksheets, sample documents and other tools to help you manage an arts education data initiative from start to finish.
Review lessons and resources. Data Lessons and Resources for the Arts Education Field is a two-page review of the resources that have emerged from the initiative, together with lessons that emerged from technical assistance Education Commission of the States provided to states across the country.