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Knowledge From the Field

Arts for All: The Vanguard Districts: Case Studies From the First Five Years

Published: September 2009

Publisher(s): Arts for All

Author(s): Waldorf, Lynn

Funder(s): Angell Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Boeing, Dana Foundation, Herb Alpert Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Target Corporation, Wallace Foundation, Warner Bros. Entertainment

View Report (146 pages; 2.41MB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Arts Education


The report presents findings from case studies of eleven school districts (“Vanguard Districts”) that adopted Arts for All: Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education. It documents progress made and issues confronted by the districts in creating and implementing comprehensive arts education plans, and it measures preliminary effects on student access to arts instruction.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+The majority of Vanguard Districts (82%) joined the initiative to repair a patchwork approach to arts education, and all districts made progress in developing standards-based, sequential arts programs.

+All Vanguard Districts developed and secured school board approval on a comprehensive multi-year district arts plan, and each district wrote arts education policy that required a long-term commitment to the objectives of the plan.

+Districts with full-time administrators coordinating the reform efforts were generally able to progress the furthest.

=Districts reported that their most pressing challenge was a lack of sufficient funding to implement the entire plan on the initial timeline.

Focus: Los Angeles County

Subjects/Keywords: Arts Education; Elementary and Secondary Education

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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