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Studio in a School: Creating a Rigorous Assessment Strategy for Arts in Education

Founded in 1977, Studio in a School is a premier New York City arts-in-education program that links public schools with local artists to implement performance-based art programs in grades pre-K through 12. It serves approximately 35,000 students annually, in more than 120 program sites. In recent years, the program has been asked to play a major role in producing a new visual arts curriculum for the New York City Department of Education. Studio in a School hired Metis Associates to develop a grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination program. The successful application resulted in a four-year grant, which enables Studio in a School, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, to create a rigorous, standards-based visual arts and cross-disciplinary instruction program in the upper elementary grades. The grant not only helps Studio in a School to expand its capacity to assess its programs but will create a replicable model for other school systems to use. Metis will be conducting a rigorous evaluation of this project, which includes the random assignment of participating schools to either a treatment or control group to assess the impact of the project on participating students, teachers, and teaching artists.