Louisiana A+ Schools Evaluation and Research

Documenting the progress of LAA+ Schools is vital to measuring student success, teacher impact, and ongoing program effectiveness. 

LAA+ Student and Teacher Impact Survey

Program Evaluation Summary 

by Dr. James Catterall

Dr. James Catterall, Professor Emeritus of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Executive Director of the Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC), led a research team to study three schools new to the LAA+ program. All three schools were high poverty and failing academically prior to joining LAA+.  Dr. Catterall's team followed the schools for two and a half years, administering surveys, conducting focus groups, and observed and participated in LAA+ professional development, and conducted over 50 classroom observations to assess the impact LAA+ training had on teachers' understanding of arts integration and their ability to utilize it as an instructional strategy.

Insights included:


  • The LAA+ model has proven to be effective in training teachers to be engaging arts integration practitioners.

  • Students in LAA+ schools are provided with numerous opportunities to grow as critical thinkers and artists on a regular basis.

  • Students had opportunities across the curriculum to think critically and creatively while collaborating with their peers.

  • Student engagement in arts integrated lessons was significantly high.

  • LAA+ teachers employed an interactive teaching approach more frequently than a lecture-based approach. This aligns with  several of the Eight A+ Essentials including multiple learning pathways, collaboration, and experimental learning.

  • Schools yielded tangible successes in school climate improvement, student engagement, and arts integration.


  • Teachers who attended the LAA+ Summer Institute were significantly more likely to implement arts integrated lessons that were highly effective at deepening students' content knowledge through the arts.

  • Teachers actively shared arts integration strategies and supported one another as arts integration practitioners.

  • Parental involvement increased following each school's adoption of LAA+.

Across the country, A+ Schools see significant achievement differences.

OKA+ Schools have outperformed their districts and state averages on standardized tests. Regardless of the year, whether urban or rural, in low-income or affluent areas, with majority of English as a second language or gifted, OKA+ schools perform better (as evidenced by the chart below).



The conclusion of the researchers was that Oklahoma A+ schools have:


1.   Higher Student Achievement

2.   Better Attendance of Students and Teachers

3.   Decreased Discipline Problems

4.   Stronger Parent and Community Involvement

5.   A More Creative and Joyful School Climate


Additionally, over five (5) years, a research team from the University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma and Auburn University tracked Oklahoma A+ Schools. Their findings are summarized in the six volumes below.

Each of these reports uses different formative methods and perspective to provide detailed and extensive information on how the initiative began, how it has grown, and what researchers have learned. Included are literature reviews to substantiate their research assumptions and clear descriptions of the methods they used to gather and analyze their data. Click on each link to view the entire .pdf versions of the reports from the Oklahoma A+ website :

Executive Summary
Volume 1: Composite Narratives
Volume 2: History and Foundational Literature
Volume 3: Quantitative Measures
Volume 4: Qualitative Data Analysis - Organizational Role Transition among Schools
Volume 5: Recognizably Different – A Meta-analysis of the Framework of Implementation


Results in an Arkansas A+ School 

Visit the National A+ Schools Consortium website
to learn more about the A+ Essentials and how they are transforming schools across the country:   http://www.nationalaplusschools.org

Louisiana A+ Schools is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

© 2019 by Louisiana A+ Schools

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