Research Into CLI

Each year, the Austin ISD Department of Research and Evaluation publishes a Creative Learning Initiative (CLI) Implementation Summary. This report analyzes the influence of CLI on students’ access to the arts over time. According to their most recent report, in 2018-19, 63 campuses—including 38,508 students and 2,763 teachers—participated in the CLI.

The Department of the Research and Evaluation found that:

  • 82% of CLI schools met the Creative Campus standard in 2018-19, compared to 41% of non-CLI schools. In 2018-19, 63% of AISD schools met or exceeded criteria needed to attain Creative Campus classification. This represents a 4% increase between 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • CLI support is critical to arts richness at Title I schools. For the third year in a row, CLI supports the equitable distribution of “Creative Campus” designations between its Title I and non-Title I campuses. Title I schools were almost three times as likely to meet the Creative Campus standard when they were a part of CLI. Research shows that access to the arts is especially advantageous to low-income students, a population that often lacks equitable access to the arts. CLI continues to serve a disproportionate number of economically disadvantaged and at risk-students when compared with district proportions.
  • Students at CLI schools had greater participation in sequential fine arts instruction at both elementary and secondary levels than did students at non-CLI schools. A greater percentage of CLI elementary schools than of non-CLI elementary schools had opportunities for drama, dance, and media arts courses. At the secondary level, students at CLI schools took more arts courses than those at non-CLI schools.
  • CLI-supported schools had greater average student exposure to community arts partners than did non-CLI-supported schools. Across all elementary schools, the average exposure rate to arts partners was 10.2 hours per student. At the secondary level, the average exposure rate was 4.9 hours per student. At both elementary and secondary levels, Title I schools that received CLI support reported higher average student arts partner exposure rates than did non-CLI schools. CLI-supported, Title I elementary students’ average exposure to community arts partners was 14 hours and CLI-supported, non-Title I students’ average exposure was 9.2 hours compared with non-CLI-supported, non-Title I students’ 7.7 hours and non-CLI-supported Title I students’ 6.6 hours. CLI-supported, Title I secondary students’ average exposure was 6.7 hours compared to non-CLI-supported, Title I students’ average of 2.4 hours.
  • Creative learning strategies are beneficial for teachers and students. When surveyed:
    • Almost all teachers (90-95%) strongly agreed or agreed that Creative Teaching workshops were engaging, inspiring, invigorating, and relevant.
    • The vast majority of teachers reported that using Creative Teaching engaged their students (94%) and, importantly, more than half also indicated it improved their instructional practice (56%).
    • 58% of teachers reported using Creative Teaching strategies at least once a week or more.

To read the full report on CLI implementation in 2018-19, and to find additional publications about the Creative Learning Initiative, please visit this Department of Research and Evaluation website.