Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Patty LeBlanc

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Gollery


In 21st Century public schools today, many rapid changes in college and career readiness play havoc among teachers and administrators who are attempting to keep up within a fast-paced, global economy. Preparing students to be successful upon graduation from public schools is a prime responsibility of the educational system in America. A tremendous amount of effort has been employed within the last two decades to close student achievement gaps and to improve teaching effectiveness, curricula, and standards in public schools. Due to concerns for failing students, shrinking budgets, and insufficient rigor to compete in a global economy, the arts were frequently pushed to the fringes of the educational curricula as enrichment, rewards, or electives. As the arts promote students to think creatively and critically about themselves and their world, they develop a sense of community within their school and society at large. Encouraging students to develop critical thinking skills through arts education fosters ownership of their education as it connects learning to curriculum, their personal lives, their cultures, and their future goals, nurturing a sense of learning that matters. The purpose of this study was to investigate academic achievement as measured by SAT® domain and composite scores of students from Florida high schools of the arts compared to SAT® domain and composite scores of students from non-arts high schools in the state of Florida and across the United States. Evidence from research included in this study suggest that students who participate in arts instruction and/or in schools for the arts achieve at similar or higher levels than their peers in a number of critical areas essential for preparing students for the 21st Century global workplace.