Supporting Advocacy for Teacher Training:How LUSD Uses the Arts Ed Profile

The LA County Arts Ed Profile is a tool used by school districts, administrators, parents, arts partners and many other stakeholders to understand where arts instruction is happening in LA County public schools. It’s similar to the Arts Data Project that uses California Department of Education (CDE) data to build profiles of arts instruction in schools and districts, however it has a few important differences. The LA County Arts Ed Profile:

  • Includes K-8 statistics (the Arts Data Project covers secondary school only)
  • Includes arts partners that provide arts education
  • Incorporates discrete and integrated arts instruction data

Lynwood Unified School District (LUSD) is a K-12 district located just west of Downey and north of Compton. It encompasses 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high schools. The district prioritizes arts education, and district administrators have found the Arts Ed Profile a valuable tool in helping them advocate for increased arts education. A member of LUSD since 2016, District Arts Coordinator Dr. Mariana Astorga-Almanza is one of the administrators who has used the Arts Ed Profile to great effect.

Mariana says the Arts Ed Profile helps:

  • Drill down on arts education offered by content area and grade level
  • Identify gaps in arts education, and provide a jumping off point for the district’s strategic planning process
  • Make informed decisions on what arts courses should be offered at each grade level each year, based on current student enrollment, and where to expand in upcoming years
  • Have data to leverage partnerships to build teacher capacity and develop integrative arts training for teachers
  • Support arts education pilots
  • Advocate for district support in hiring full-time arts teachers
  • Inform projects under consideration for the Arts Ed Collective Advancement Grant

For example, one pilot program supported by the Arts Ed Profile is a teacher training partnership with the Music Center. Three years ago, LUSD piloted this program Kindergarten level. The Music Center provided professional development and arts integration training for all Kindergarten teachers in the district, which resulted in all 1,000 Kindergarten students receiving music education. This pilot was expanded during the 2018-2019 school year to encompass first grade, and today serves 2,000 students. These pilot programs build existing teacher capacity for arts integration, while creating partnerships with arts partners. In turn, this strengthens the case for increasing the distribution of resources towards arts classes and ultimately, specialized, full-time arts teachers.

This is just one example of how schools and districts can use the data provided by the Arts Ed Profile to move their districts towards access to more resources for arts education. Curious how your school or district compares to others in LA County? Look them up in the Arts Ed Profile to see what arts education looks like for your students. Don't see your school, or not sure when your data was last updated? Email Matt Agustin, Research Associate, to find out.