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Mayor Emanuel and CPS Announce Record Number of Students Participating in High Quality Arts Programs

20 December 2017

Ingenuity’s State of the Arts Report shows 66 percent of CPS schools are strong or excelling in the arts.

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools today announced that a record number of students have access to high-quality arts education. According to the annual State of the Arts Report released by Ingenuity, 66 percent of schools are rated as strong or excelling in arts education programming, which accounts for 73 percent of the CPS student population.

“This report is a testament to Chicago’s success in expanding arts education, sparking our children’s imaginations and inspiring their creativity,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The arts are inseparable from a well-rounded education, and Chicago will continue to invest in programs that are proven to develop vital critical thinking skills and help all of our children realize their limitless potential.”

According to Ingenuity, the number of CPS schools rated strong or excelling in arts education has increased by 128 percent since the 2012 school year, when only 29 percent of schools received high ratings. The report also highlighted the important role of community collaboration, noting that 97 percent of schools have community arts partners.

“We are encouraged by the progress made across the district, and the continued commitment to the arts demonstrated by our school leaders, teachers, and partners,” said Paul Sznewajs, Executive Director at Ingenuity.

Additional Highlights from the State of the Arts Report:

  • The overall arts staffing ratio in every CPS network now exceeds the 1 instructor per 350 students’ goal that was set forth in the 2012 Arts Education Plan.
  • 60 percent of elementary schools provided 120 minutes of weekly arts instruction, an increase of 50 percent from the 2012-13 school year.
  • Community and district investment in the arts is estimated to have totaled $158 million last school year.

“Arts education goes beyond a child learning to play an instrument or perform on stage; the arts help students find their voice, enhance their education and tap into their undiscovered talents” said CPS Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “The arts are vital to student success and school improvement, and I am proud to see our arts programs support the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers.”

The Arts Education Plan was launched in 2012 alongside the Chicago Cultural Plan, developed to elevate the city as a global destination for creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts. The Arts Education Plan was the only plan in the country to offer support for schools to advance arts programming and to provide a system to track progress. Since its implementation, CPS now designates the arts as a core subject similar to math, science and social studies.

Ingenuity partners with CPS to increase the access, equity, and quality of arts education for students in every grade. Ingenuity uses data and research, advocacy, direct investments and staff development to impact CPS arts programming.

Since 2011, CPS student achievement outcomes have dramatically improved, and Mayor Emanuel and CPS continue to invest in new resources and establish new goals for our students. By setting high expectations for our schools and students, expanding access to 21st Century education models and resources, including STEM and IB programs, and developing innovative Career and Technical Education programs, CPS and the City of Chicago are working to improve educational outcomes and provide every one of our students with a high-quality education that prepares them to explore a variety of paths to a successful future.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.