"Did consequential accountability policies decrease the share of visual and performing arts education in U.S. public secondary schools during the No Child Left Behind era?"
Farkas’s research expertise includes special education needs and consequences, pre-school readiness, disparities and impacts of child care, children’s growth trajectories in reading, math, and science, and early interventions for students who have fallen behind in reading. His research has made a major contribution to understanding the school achievement gap for low income and ethnic minority students. Farkas has authored or co-authored four books and more than 125 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Collectively, his work has been cited more than 14,000 times. Recently, he was honored with the American Sociological Association Willard Wallen Award for lifetime achievement in the field of sociology of education.
Brouillette is professor of arts and educational policy at UCI. She researches educational leadership, school reform, and arts education. Brouillette directs the Center for Learning through the Arts and is managing director/editor of the Journal for Learning through the Arts. Her recent work focuses on integrating visual and performing arts activities with academic subjects in ways that boost student engagement, recall, academic achievement, and matching arts activities with children's developmental level in order to maximize learning. Brouillette’s most recent publication Arts Integration in Diverse K-5 Classrooms demonstrates how arts integration allows students to engage with concepts on their own developmental level.
It has been asserted that the test-based accountability of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) increased instruction in tested subject areas reading and math, leading to reductions in arts education. We tested this using two waves of data, before and after NCLB implementation, in a difference-in-differences design. The analyses indicated that the total teacher workforce increased substantially during this time period, while the percentage of reading and math educators remained constant, leading to an overall increase in the teacher corps for these subjects. In contrast, the percentage of music and visual arts educators decreased during this period, leading to a decrease in their numbers. Average subject-specific teaching loads increased across all of these subjects. The result was substantial increases in the number of reading and math courses taught, combined with overall stability in the number of arts courses. However, comparisons across states with varying implementation of test-based school accountability prior to NCLB failed to show a relationship between such accountability and changes in the percentages and teaching loads of reading, math, and arts educators. Thus, at least in terms of cross-state comparisons, changes in these outcomes cannot be attributed to state-specific changes in accountability brought on by the introduction of NCLB.