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Are You in Favor of Arts Education? Poll Results

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ALMOST ALL NEW JERSEYANS BELIEVE ARTS EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT, BUT FEWER HELP TO PROMOTE IT IN SCHOOLS OR COMMUNITIES

 

Residents’ views on student access to local arts programs and events divided by key social and economic factors

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – As the school year gets underway, New Jersey residents deem more than just “reading and writing and ‘rithmetic” valuable to a child’s education. Ninety-five percent believe an education in the arts – which can include dance, mediaarts, music, theater, visual arts, and other forms of active creative learning – is very (72 percent) or somewhat (23 percent) important for K-12 students, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Just 5 percent say the opposite. 

Yet despite overwhelming agreement that the arts are essential, sizable numbers of New Jerseyans do not participate in related activities that help to promote and increase arts education. More than half have not taken a child to a program or event, donated or raised money, volunteered, or shared something on social media related to the arts either at their local school or in their community within the past year. Almost half have not discussed arts programs or events with others, and four in 10 have not encouraged a child to participate in any way. Few have brought up the issue with figures like teachers, school administrators and elected officials or in settings like school or town meetings or on social media.

Residents’ views on student access to arts programs and events in their local area are mixed. In terms of their local school, 28 percent of New Jerseyans strongly agree that students have enough arts opportunities, and another 26 percent somewhat agree; a combined 34 percent either somewhat or strongly disagree. In terms of their local community, 56 percent of New Jerseyans likewise agree that students have enough arts opportunities (29 percent strongly, 27 percent somewhat), whereas 31 percent feel just the opposite.

“New Jerseyans overwhelmingly believe that our students need arts education, and a number of residents believe more needs to be done. We want to build upon this support and create strong local ambassadors with the help of the Arts Ed Now campaign,” stated Bob Morrison, director of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership.“This is a statewide call to action for all residents to help increase arts education in schools and communities all across New Jersey.”

Results are from a statewide poll of 802 adults contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Sept. 6 to 10, 2016. The sample has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. Interviews were done in English and, when requested, Spanish.

Widespread belief in importance, but participation limited to certain groups

​Majorities across the board say that the arts are very important, though there is some difference in degree. Women are more likely than men to feel this way (80 percent to 64 percent), as are those residents who have completed some type of graduate school work (83 percent versus 70 percent of college graduates and 68 percent of those with some college or less). Urbanites are most likely to believe an education in the arts is very important (at 87 percent), while shore residents are least likely to do so (at 62 percent).

Actively participating in arts-supporting activities is limited to particular groups, however. Twenty-two percent of New Jerseyans have not participated in any of the asked-about activities either at a local school or in their community; at the other extreme, just 8 percent have participated in all six activities in the past year.

Being a parent or guardian has a big impact on participation.Most parents have encouraged a child to participate in or have taken a child to attend an arts program or event in the past twelve months, either at school or in their local community; most residents without children in the household have not. Those with children are also more likely than those without to have volunteered or raised money for an arts program in their local school or community, yet even a majority of this group has not participated in either activity. They are likewise much more likely to bring up the issue of arts education with school officials and at school meetings, but are no different from those without children when it comes to town meetings or talking to elected officials. Discussion with others and communication through social media about arts education is also more prevalent among parents.

Age, income, education, and race all have a strong influence on participation. Younger and middle-aged residents who are near child-rearing age are more likely than others to participate in a variety of activities, both in school and in their local community; a majority of senior citizens consistently do not participate in arts-supportingactivities. Participation also increases with income and level of education. Overall, those who are of prime parenting age, more affluent, and more highly educated tend to participate in not just one, but several of the asked about activities.

While white and non-white residents have participated in comparable numbers of activities, they differ in the nature of their participation: non-white residents are less likely than white residents to say they have taken their child to a program or event, discussedarts programs and events with others, or brought up the issue of arts education at school meetings.

Women are slightly more likely than men to say they have brought up the issue of arts education at a school meeting, while men are slightly more likely to say they have brought up the issue with an elected official.

The classification of one’s local school district (commonly referred to as District Factor Groups, or DFGs) and the state school aid one’s district has received also have some impact on participation, yet only when it comes to speaking up about the arts within the past year, either to school officials or in school or town meetings. For the most part, residents are similar in their participation habits – and the number of activities in which they partake – across school district types.

Student access to arts depends on who you ask

​Whether or not New Jerseyans believe students in their area have enough opportunities to attend arts programs and events varies across key demographics. Democrats, women, non-white residents, those in lower-income households, those with less education, and those in urban and southern areas of the state are all less likely to agree that students have enough access to arts programs in their local school. Virtually the same pattern holds when it comes to arts access within the local community. Age is also a factor for both areas. 

​Belief that students do not have enough opportunities sharply increases with amount of state school aid funding and districtclassification. Residents who live in the poorest school districts (classified on the DFG scale as “A” or “B”) are less than half as likely as those who live in the wealthiest districts (classified as “I” or “J”) to believe students in their area have enough arts opportunities in schools (38 percent agree versus 78 percent agree); they are similarly much less likely to feel the same about their community (43 percent agree versus 71 percent agree). Likewise, less than half of those in school districts who receive the highest levels of state funding (which tend to be the poorest districts) agree that there are enough opportunities either through school or the surrounding community.

​“Socioeconomic factors like wealth create significant barriers for students when it comes to accessing arts education and opportunities,” said Ashley Koning, interim director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University. “While New Jerseyans see the arts as fundamental to education and participate at similar rates, children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the state have the fewest chances to benefit.”

 

 

About the Arts Ed Now Campaign

 

Arts Ed Now is a statewide campaign to increase active participation in arts education in all schools in New Jersey. Studies show that students who participate in arts education do better in school and in life. Unfortunately, not all NJ students have the access or information to increase their participation in arts education. The Arts Ed Now campaign identifies ways to increase participation in arts education and garner public support to put a spotlight on the issue - and is designed to be customized at a local grassroots level for more impact. The “Campaign Central” website www.ArtsEdNow.org features stories, tools and ways for citizens to become better ambassadors - together. Arts Ed Now was initiated by New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP), NJ State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Americans for the Arts and now includes hundreds of organizations and individuals across New Jersey.

 

About the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership

 

The New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP) is the unified voice for arts education in New Jersey. NJAEP was originally founded in 2007 as a cosponsored program of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, with additional support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Department of Education and Music for All Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the Prudential Foundation, and ArtPride New Jersey Foundation. The mission of the NJAEP is to provide a unified voice for a diverse group of constituents who agree on the educational benefits and impact of the arts, specifically the contribution they make to student achievement and a civilized, sustainable society. Additional information is available at www.artsednj.org.

 

# # #

QUESTIONS AND TABLES START ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE

 

 

Questions and Tables

The questions covered in the release of September 13, 2016 are listed below. Column percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding. Respondents are New Jersey Adults; all percentages are of weighted results.

 

Now let’s turn to some questions about arts education – which can include dance, media, music, theater, visual arts, and other forms of creativity.

 

Q.​How important do you think it is for K-12 students to receive an education in the arts?  Is it very important, somewhat important, somewhat unimportant, or not at all important?

 

Very important

72%

Somewhat important

23%

Somewhat unimportant

3%

Not at all important

2%

Unwght N

797

 

 

Gender

Race/Ethnicity

Age

 

Male

Female

White

Non-white

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

Very important

64%

80%

71%

75%

71%

78%

70%

68%

Somewhat important

32%

16%

24%

21%

24%

20%

23%

27%

Somewhat unimportant

2%

3%

3%

2%

2%

1%

4%

3%

Not at all important

2%

1%

2%

1%

3%

0%

2%

2%

Unwght N

394

403

492

280

156

191

291

159

 

 

Income

Education

 

<50K

50K-<100K

100K-<150K

150K+

HS or Less

Some Coll

Coll Grad

Grad Work

Very important

72%

74%

71%

73%

68%

68%

70%

83%

Somewhat important

23%

22%

24%

25%

25%

27%

25%

14%

Somewhat unimportant

3%

3%

3%

2%

6%

2%

3%

1%

Not at all important

2%

2%

3%

1%

0%

3%

2%

2%

Unwght N

193

232

138

139

162

217

241

175

 

 

Region

Married

Parent

 

Urban

Suburb

Exurban

Phil/South

Shore

Yes

Other

Yes

No

Very important

87%

72%

71%

70%

62%

69%

75%

69%

74%

Somewhat important

11%

25%

24%

26%

28%

24%

22%

25%

23%

Somewhat unimportant

1%

1%

3%

3%

6%

4%

1%

3%

2%

Not at all important

1%

2%

2%

1%

3%

2%

1%

3%

2%

Unwght N

123

292

108

142

132

443

344

248

542

 

 

Q.​And from what you know or have heard, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree that students in YOUR area have enough opportunities to attend arts programs and events:

 

 

In School

In Your Community

Strongly agree

28%

29%

Somewhat agree

26%

27%

Somewhat disagree

16%

15%

Strongly disagree

18%

16%

Don't know

12%

12%

Unwght N

472

485

 

​In School

 

Gender

Race/Ethnicity

Age

 

Male

Female

White

Non-white

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

Strongly agree

28%

27%

32%

20%

23%

19%

37%

34%

Somewhat agree

32%

21%

25%

26%

29%

34%

22%

17%

Somewhat disagree

17%

16%

15%

19%

23%

18%

16%

5%

Strongly disagree

11%

24%

13%

27%

20%

22%

16%

15%

Don't know

12%

11%

14%

7%

5%

7%

10%

30%

Unwght N

227

245

297

164

86*

115

164

107

​* Small N; interpret with caution.

 

 

Income

Education

 

<50K

50K-<100K

100K-<150K

150K+

HS or Less

Some Coll

Coll Grad

Grad Work

Strongly agree

23%

23%

27%

38%

33%

20%

30%

30%

Somewhat agree

15%

30%

36%

31%

23%

22%

29%

30%

Somewhat disagree

21%

19%

12%

12%

14%

21%

17%

13%

Strongly disagree

26%

17%

19%

11%

19%

23%

12%

19%

Don't know

15%

11%

7%

7%

11%

15%

12%

8%

Unwght N

114

147

77*

78*

113

124

121

112

​* Small N; interpret with caution.

 

 

Region

Married

Parent

 

Urban

Suburb

Exurban

Phil/South

Shore

Yes

Other

Yes

No

Strongly agree

23%

31%

35%

20%

28%

34%

22%

30%

27%

Somewhat agree

25%

24%

28%

27%

28%

28%

23%

32%

23%

Somewhat disagree

18%

16%

12%

19%

16%

11%

22%

14%

17%

Strongly disagree

29%

18%

10%

22%

10%

16%

20%

21%

17%

Don't know

4%

11%

15%

12%

18%

11%

13%

3%

15%

Unwght N

75*

174

56*

87*

80*

264

202

137

330

​* Small N; interpret with caution.

 

In Your Community

 

Gender

Race/Ethnicity

Age

 

Male

Female

White

Non-white

18-34

35-49

50-64

65+

Strongly agree

26%

33%

31%

26%

18%

29%

38%

32%

Somewhat agree

34%

21%

29%

23%

36%

23%

23%

27%

Somewhat disagree

15%

15%

16%

14%

26%

14%

12%

9%

Strongly disagree

15%

18%

12%

24%

14%

22%

18%

10%

Don't know

10%

14%

11%

12%

6%

12%

10%

22%

Unwght N

247

238

308

160

84*

103

189

109

​* Small N; interpret with caution.

 

 

Income

Education

 

<50K

50K-<100K

100K-<150K

150K+

HS or Less

Some Coll

Coll Grad

Grad Work

Strongly agree

27%

28%

34%

28%

34%

27%

30%

29%

Somewhat agree

26%

33%

24%

31%

21%

25%

31%

29%

Somewhat disagree

13%

14%

19%

20%

11%

18%

15%

14%

Strongly disagree

23%

18%

8%

13%

24%

17%

15%

11%

Don't know

11%

8%

15%

9%

10%

13%

8%

17%

Unwght N

113

131

98

83*

86*

146

151

102

​* Small N; interpret with caution.

 

 

Region

Married

Parent

 

Urban

Suburb

Exurban

Phil/South

Shore

Yes

Other

Yes

No

Strongly agree

27%

29%

31%

23%

35%

36%

23%

33%

28%

Somewhat agree

20%

27%

29%

30%

30%

27%

28%

29%

27%

Somewhat disagree

20%

18%

12%

15%

9%

13%

18%

10%

17%

Strongly disagree

28%

16%

14%

14%

12%

15%

17%

21%

14%

Don't know

6%

10%

14%

18%

14%

10%

14%

6%

14%

Unwght N

67*

181

79*

80*

78*

261

218

141

341

​* Small N; interpret with caution.

 

 

Q.​Please tell me whether you have done any of the following arts-related activities either at a local school, in your community, BOTH at a local school and in your community, or neither place since September 2015.  [RANDOMIZE ORDER]

 

Encouraged a child to participate in an arts program or event

 

At a local school

22%

In your community

17%

Both

23%

Neither

38%

Unwght N

797

 

 

Taken a child to an arts program or event

 

At a local school

11%

In your community

16%

Both

16%

Neither

57%

Unwght N

793

 

 

Donated to or raised money for an arts program or event

 

At a local school

13%

In your community

13%

Both

10%

Neither

64%

Unwght N

791

 

 

Volunteered to help with an arts program or event

 

At a local school

9%

In your community

9%

Both

7%

Neither

74%

Unwght N

794

 

 

 

Discussed an arts program or event with others

 

At a local school

10%

In your community

25%

Both

19%

Neither

46%

Unwght N

797

 

 

Shared something about an arts program or event on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms

 

At a local school

5%

In your community

17%

Both

14%

Neither

65%

Unwght N

790

 

 

Q.​Please tell me whether you have brought up the issue of arts education with any of the following people or in any of the following settings since September 2015.  Just tell me yes or no for each.  [RANDOMIZE ORDER]

 

To a teacher or school administrator

 

Yes

30%

No

70%

Unwght N

798

 

At a local community or town meeting

 

Yes

12%

No

88%

Unwght N

799

 

 

At a PTO, PTA, or school board meeting

 

Yes

12%

No

88%

Unwght N

798

 

 

To an elected official 

 

Yes

9%

No

91%

Unwght N

798

 

 

On Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms

 

Yes

26%

No

74%

Unwght N

796

 

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll was conducted by telephone using live callers September 6-10, 2016 with a scientifically selected random sample of 802 New Jersey adults, 18 or older. Respondents within a household are selected by asking randomly for the youngest adult male or female currently available. If the named gender is not available, the youngest adult of the other gender is interviewed. The poll was available in Spanish for respondents who requested it. This telephone poll included 441 landline and 361 cell phone adults, all acquired through random digit dialing. Distribution of household phone use in this sample is:

 

Cell Only:​21%

Dual Use, Reached on Cell:​25%

Dual Use, Reached on LL:​51%

Landline Only:​ 4%

 

Data were weighted to the demographics of adults in New Jersey. Weights account for the probability of being selected within the sample frame, adjusting for frame overlap, as well as the probability of being sampled within a household, based on the number of individuals living in the household for respondents reached via landline and on the number of adults sharing a phone for respondents reached via cell. The sample was weighted using a raking algorithm to several demographic variables reflecting the general population parameters of the state of New Jersey: gender, race, age, and Hispanic ethnicity. The final weights, which combined all of the parameters mentioned, were trimmed at the 5th and 95th percentile so as to not accord too much weight to any one case or subset of cases. All results are reported with these weighted data.

 

All surveys are subject to sampling error, which is the expected probable difference between interviewing everyone in a population versus a scientific sampling drawn from that population. Sampling error should be adjusted to recognize the effect of weighting the data to better match the population. In this poll, the simple sampling error for the 802 adults is +/-3.5percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval. The sample weighting design effect is 1.27, making the adjusted margin of error +/- 3.9 percentage points for the adult sample.

 

Thus if 50 percent of New Jersey adults in this sample favor a particular position, we would be 95 percent sure that the true figure is between 46.1 and 53.9 percent (50 +/-3.9) if all New Jersey adults had been interviewed, rather than just a sample.

 

Sampling error does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording, or context effects.

 

This Rutgers-Eagleton Poll was fielded by Braun Research, Inc. The questionnaire was developed in partnership with the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and all data analyses were completed in house by the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP). The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll is paid for and sponsored by the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, a non-partisan academic center for the study of politics and the political process. Full questionnaires are available on request, and can also be accessed through our archives at eagletonpoll.rutgers.edu. For more information, please contact eagleton.poll@rutgers.edu.

 

 

Weighted Sample Characteristics

802 New Jersey Adults

 

37% Democrat​48% Male​28% 18-34​63% White

43% Independent​52% Female​26% 35-49​12% Black

20% Republican​28% 50-64​16% Hispanic

​18% 65+​  ​ 9% Asian/Other/Multi

 

 

 

 

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Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...