Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Meredith J. Ludwig, Andrea Boyle, and Jim Lindsay

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) is a sweeping, 391-page law that transforms the federal government’s role in public education. It introduces several new funding streams that states and districts can use to improve schools, including 12 that could be used to support arts integration. But in order to access those funding streams, education agencies must cite evidence demonstrating that the efforts they propose can, in fact, improve student achievement.

This literature review explores research available on arts integration activities and finds 44 that could qualify for ESSA funding (10 studies met Tier I-III evidence standards for strong, moderate or promising evidence, while 34 met the Tier IV standard for having a research-based rationale). Interventions, include those that use music to teach students fractions, drama to help improve vocabulary and dance to teach kindergarteners to read.

Source: Report description