WWC review of this study

Investigating Causal Effects of Arts Education Experiences: Experimental Evidence from Houston's Arts Access Initiative

Bowen, D. H. & Kisida, B. (2019). Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, 7 (4). Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED598203

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    10,548
     Students
    , grades
    3-8

Reviewed: April 2021

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: Grades 4-8;
10,140 students

0.04

-0.06

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Middle school: Grades 6-8;
4,785 students

0.01

-0.10

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Elementary school: Grades 4 and 5;
5,355 students

0.07

-0.03

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 4-8;
4,965 students

0.12

0.01

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 4-8;
5,175 students

-0.04

-0.13

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino: Grades 4-8;
7,209 students

0.05

-0.05

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch: Grades 4-8;
3,768 students

0.14

0.06

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 4-8;
4,994 students

-0.18

-0.21

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Limited English proficient: Grades 4-8;
2,998 students

-0.20

-0.41

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Reading

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 4-8;
2,345 students

-0.22

-0.24

No

--
General Literacy Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grades 4 and 7;
4,352 students

0.14

-0.07

Yes

 
 
5
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Limited English proficient: Grades 4 and 7;
1,405 students

0.04

-0.34

Yes

 
 
11

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade 4;
2,804 students

0.19

-0.07

Yes

 
 
7

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 4 and 7;
2,115 students

0.30

0.07

Yes

 
 
6

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino: Grades 4 and 7;
3,018 students

0.13

-0.06

Yes

 
 
6

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 4 and 7;
2,237 students

-0.01

-0.19

Yes

 
 
5

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch: Grades 4 and 7;
1,567 students

0.24

0.05

Yes

 
 
5

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 4 and 7;
2,183 students

-0.07

-0.21

Yes

 
 
4

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 4 and 7;
1,049 students

-0.13

-0.25

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Writing

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade 7;
1,548 students

0.03

-0.06

No

--
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: Grades 4-8;
10,130 students

0.02

-0.06

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 4-8;
2,345 students

-0.25

-0.28

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Elementary school: Grades 4 and 5;
5,349 students

0.07

-0.06

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 4-8;
4,960 students

0.03

-0.05

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 4-8;
4,993 students

-0.12

-0.17

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Middle school: Grades 6-8;
4,781 students

-0.05

-0.06

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 4-8;
5,170 students

0.00

-0.06

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino: Grades 4-8;
7,199 students

0.03

-0.02

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch: Grades 4-8;
3,760 students

0.07

0.05

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Math

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Limited English proficient: Grades 4-8;
2,989 students

-0.01

-0.16

No

--
General science achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grades 5 and 8;
4,063 students

0.07

0.02

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 5 and 8;
950 students

-0.18

-0.22

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade 5;
2,547 students

0.14

-0.01

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 5 and 8;
1,975 students

-0.07

-0.12

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Limited English proficient: Grades 5 and 8;
1,110 students

-0.03

-0.29

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 5 and 8;
2,009 students

0.06

-0.02

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 5 and 8;
2,054 students

0.08

0.06

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino: Grades 5 and 8;
2,856 students

0.09

0.04

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch: Grades 5 and 8;
1,485 students

0.17

0.13

No

--

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR): Science

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade 8;
1,516 students

-0.05

0.05

No

--
Secondary school attendance outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Absences

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grades 6-8;
4,983 students

6.63

7.64

No

--
Student emotional status outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: Grades 4-8;
6,246 students

0.01

-0.07

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 4-8;
3,155 students

0.17

0.08

No

--

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch: Grades 4-8;
2,344 students

0.02

-0.06

No

--

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 4-8;
3,091 students

-0.16

-0.22

No

--

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 4-8;
3,061 students

-0.04

-0.06

No

--

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Middle school: Grades 6-8;
2,631 students

-0.22

-0.21

No

--

Arts-facilitated empathy (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 4-8;
1,447 students

-0.11

-0.06

No

--
Student engagement in school outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: Grades 4-8;
10,548 students

0.11

0.17

No

--
More Outcomes

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: Grades 4-8;
6,322 students

-0.06

-0.20

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Limited English proficient: Grades 4-8;
1,993 students

0.22

-0.08

Yes

 
 
9

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Middle school: Grades 6-8;
4,983 students

0.20

0.31

Yes

 
 
7

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 4-8;
1,472 students

-0.07

-0.24

Yes

 
 
6

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 4-8;
5,408 students

0.14

0.23

Yes

 
 
6

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 4-8;
3,184 students

0.00

-0.14

Yes

 
 
5

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black: Grades 4-8;
2,503 students

0.14

0.25

Yes

 
 
5

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino: Grades 4-8;
7,436 students

0.10

0.16

No

--

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 4-8;
5,255 students

0.14

0.21

Yes

 
 
4

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male: Grades 4-8;
3,138 students

-0.11

-0.25

No

--

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Higher poverty household: Grades 4-8;
3,097 students

-0.06

-0.19

No

--

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female: Grades 4-8;
5,140 students

0.08

0.12

No

--

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch: Grades 4-8;
3,787 students

0.08

0.13

Yes

 
 
3

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Limited English proficient: Grades 4-8;
3,089 students

0.09

0.14

No

--

Disciplinary infraction during the school year

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Elementary school: Grades 4 and 5;
5,565 students

0.04

0.04

No

--

Student-school engagement (student survey)

Houston’s Arts Access Initiative vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Middle School: Grades 6-8;
2,662 students

-0.54

-0.39

Yes

-6
 
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 29% English language learners

  • 37% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 49%
    Male: 51%
  • Race
    Black
    24%
    Not specified
    73%
    White
    3%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    70%
    Not Hispanic
    30%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Texas

Setting

The study took place in 42 public urban elementary and middle schools in the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

Study sample

Of the students in the full analytic sample (N=10,548, which includes 5,333 students in the intervention group and 5,215 students in the comparison group): 51 percent were male and 49 percent were female. Seventy percent of students identified as Hispanic, 24% as Black, non-Hispanic, and 3% as White, non-Hispanic. Six percent were eligible for special education services, 29% had limited English proficiency, 37% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and 50% were classified as in poverty based on family income.

Intervention Group

Schools in the intervention group implemented school-community arts partnership programs designed to address K-12 arts educational inequities by advancing student access to the arts. The partnership programs implemented in the study schools were initiated and administered by Houston’s Arts Access Initiative (AAI), a school-community partnership launched in 2013 in HISD. The AAI partnership programs were tailored to each school’s art educational needs. Specifically, in designing their school’s AAI program, each principal engaged in strategic arts planning with the AAI director, designated a campus-level arts liaison to coordinate and facilitate AAI-related efforts, participated in teacher and principal arts-integration professional development, and attended AAI peer-network mentoring sessions. The AAI director and staff worked with principals to understand their schools’ goals for the upcoming year to help guide arts program selections that would align with their objectives, encouraging principals to select a diverse array of programs so that each of the arts disciplines and formats (in particular, dance, music, theater, and visual arts) were provided at least once over the course of the academic year. Programs could occur at the school or offsite, on field trips, during and after regular school hours.

Comparison Group

Schools in the comparison group did not implement school-community arts partnership programs through the AAI program. These schools may have taken part in arts activities and partnerships, including through other programs.

Support for implementation

Principals in AAI intervention schools engaged in strategic arts planning with the AAI director, designated a campus-level arts liaison to coordinate and facilitate AAI-related efforts, participated in teacher and principal arts-integration professional development, and attended AAI peer-network mentoring sessions. To fund student experiences, intervention schools were required to match between $1 to $10 for each dollar of AAI funding, and the Houston Endowment matched each school’s financial commitment.

 

Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

loading
back to top