highlights from key national research on arts education
The National Assessment of Educational Progress:
Arts Assessment Report Card
An ongoing project of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), regularly assesses children across the country in different academic subjects to produce a national picture of how America's students are doing in various disciplines.
The periodic inclusion of the arts disciplines in the "Nation's Report Card" underscores the arts as academic material. For the "Arts Assessment Report Card," students were tested in their abilities to respond to (the work of others), perform (the work of others), and create (original work) in the arts disciplines. The results were not impressive, but the study did show that instruction makes a difference in student achievement in all three of the tested domains of responding to, performing, and creating in the arts. The report also describes the frequency with which arts education is offered as reported by the randomly sampled schools. The most recent NAEP to test the arts was conducted in 1997, and the NAEP is scheduled to retest the arts in 2007. This link offers the full report, including an executive summary, a press release, and highlights of the report in a shorter document.