Making The Arts Count In New York City

Metis helps the largest school system in the nation document annually the delivery of quality arts education for all student across approximately 1,700 public schools.

Cover of the Metis 2018-2019 Arts in Schools Report.

In 2004, the New York City Department of Education published Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.  These Blueprints are curriculum frameworks that lay out what NYC public school students should know, understand, and be able to do in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

Building on the foundation of the Blueprints, in 2007, the New York City Department of Education launched ArtsCount in 2007. This initiative supports the collection of arts programming data from schools across the city, and results in both citywide and individual school reports that show how the schools are progressing towards offering quality arts education to all students. ArtsCount simultaneously increases accountability for schools in ensuring that each and every student is provided with high-quality, sequential arts learning and improves the transparency of the programming, which is an essential aspect of ensuring an equitable system.

Providing Technical Support for Arts Count Survey

Metis has been working closely with the NYC Department of Education’s ArtsCount initiative since 2009. Our work includes close collaboration with the Office of Arts and Special Projects on the design, administration, and data analysis of the survey, which goes each of NYC’s approximately 1,700 public schools. We also develop and upload individual school reports, which provide important information about the schools’ arts offerings to parents, students, and other stakeholders; and create an annual, aggregate report, which provides longitudinal information about the city’s overall progress toward arts accountability measures.  Specifically, the aggregate reports provide key information in the following areas, among others:

  • Student participation in the arts
  • Arts teachers
  • Space for the arts
  • Partnerships with arts and cultural organizations
  • Parent involvement in the arts
  • Arts budgeting

For the 2018-2019 aggregate NYC Arts in Schools Report, see

ArtsCount Shines Light on Service Gaps

NYC Department of Education’s Chancellor, Richard Carranza, has expressed, “a high-quality arts education transforms students’ lives,” and recognizes “that arts instruction must be continuous, rigorous, inclusive, and reflective of the diversity of the communities and students the DOE serves.”

With each of the 13 annual Arts in Schools Reports that have been published to date, it is clear that the city is demonstrating progress toward achieving equity and excellence in arts education, including:

  • Increasingly robust budgets for arts programming
  • Greater numbers of certified arts teachers in the city’s schools
  • Consistent success in meeting high school New York State arts education requirements

It is equally clear that there remain areas for improvement that must be addressed going forward. Metis is proud to do its part to help New York City shine a light on gaps in providing sequential, high quality P-12 arts programming to every student in the nation’s largest school district.