To understand the “value added” by a collective impact initiative to individual partner efforts, the AAI has identified a number of areas of impact to study across the district, at our implementation schools, and with the arts organization partners.
The first area of impact, as prioritized by the AAI goals, is equity, which is studied district-wide. Through the annual Arts Access Mirror Report and Arts Atlas map, we are able to track which schools are reporting arts experiences for their students as well as how much principals and teachers value the arts for themselves and their students. Because we take this “snapshot” of the district each year, we are able to track how arts access and opinions about the arts change.
AAI’s additional measurements include examining the result of participating in arts experiences as part of a collective impact initiative on the following areas: student academic achievement, attendance, engagement and social skills; principal and teacher participation and engagement; arts and community organizations’ interest, engagement, and delivery; and parent interest and involvement.
Some of our research questions include:
• Are students whose schools receive the implementation more likely to develop a taste for the arts and engage in the arts outside of school-sponsored activities?
• Does receiving the implementation transfer into increases in school engagement?
• Does receiving the implementation increase students’ social skills, specifically in the forms of tolerance, empathy, and a sense of civic obligation?
• Does the implementation generally increase how much students value creativity, both for themselves and their peers? Does the implementation generally raise students' opinion of their own creative capacities?
• Do the increases mentioned above predict subsequent growth in students’ non-arts assessment achievement?
• How does receiving the implementation cause schools to make adjustments (which may have their own effects) that may cause them to differ from the comparison schools?
• How are teachers’ and principals’ practices and perceptions impacted by a school-wide AAI implementation?
• How do partners (i.e. arts organizations) address and attempt to meet the needs of students? Do schools’ and partners’ actions lead to efforts to support each other’s goals?
• Do different student groups and school environments show the same effects in response to arts enrichment?
• Are particular components of the implementation more strongly correlated to desirable
Some of this research can be produced by analyzing data routinely collected by HISD, while other research must be conducted through interviews, surveys, and other tools. The results of school and student data from the AAI implementation schools over two years will be compared with comparison schools that are not receiving the AAI implementation. This is a large-scale, rigorous study conducted by an external evaluation team.