In response to Karl’s comment, I have realized I need to explain my survey in greater detail. I have designed two surveys to better understand the effectiveness of the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in the Schools Program. The program brings an artist into a school for day, week, or even a semester. While present, the artist gives presentations and works with students on visual or theatrical projects. The SDAC funds half of the residency, while the school is responsible for the other half. One of the surveys is targeted towards the artists involved in the program. It questions their experience in the program, and whether or not they believe arts programs should be funded by the state. The other survey is aimed at teachers. It asks questions such as “Is the program worth giving up valuable class time?” and “Does the program bring arts to students who would not otherwise be exposed?” By surveying both those involved with the program and those who see it first hand as an outsider (teachers do not generally make the decisions as to whether or not the program comes to their school) I intend to gain a solid understanding of the effectiveness of the program. Do students benefit? Is it worth the tax payer money? Is the program absolutely crucial to arts education in South Dakota? And finally, is the state responsible for funding such programs? The results thus far are strongly in favor of the program, but certain statistical errors have not yet been taken into consideration.
The Survey June 19, 2009