Turnaround Arts aims to transform elementary and middle schools through arts education programming that is specifically designed to address the systemic challenges facing communities working to solve deep racial and economic inequities. An initial 3-year program evaluation of the Turnaround Arts pilot schools, released in 2015, found significant improvement in academic achievement, reduction in disciplinary referrals and increases in attendance, among other findings. In addition, the study found that Turnaround Arts schools outperformed comparable schools in their city or state that received federal funds for school improvement (“SIG schools”).
Discipline & Attendance
Half of the Turnaround Arts schools improved their attendance rates significantly between 2011 and 2014. More than half of Turnaround Arts schools dramatically reduced in-school and out-of-school suspensions, some by as much as 89%.
- VOICES FROM THE FIELD
“A new program, the Turnaround Arts initiative, is putting the arts back into the schools that need them most.”
“I have been involved in Des Moines Public Schools for over 30 years and have witnessed many federal grants during that time. I have to say that I have not witnessed a more immediate and positive impact than the Turnaround Arts program.”
“We have chosen to use the arts to dramatically change the school culture, rethink how we teach, and connect students and families in a community where the reserve of hope was on empty.”
“The arts have made me concentrate more in school and work hard in class. The arts have made my behavior better and have given me the confidence to express myself through song.”