Thursday, July 09, 2009

NAEP Finds Schools' Offerings in Arts Hold Steady

By By Mary Ann Zehr | Ed Week
June 17, 2009

About the same share of 8th graders attend schools where music and visual-arts instruction are offered as a decade ago—a proportion that accounts for only about half the nation’s schoolchildren at that age.

That’s according to results from the first administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress in arts in 11 years.

The NAEP report, which was scheduled for release this week, shows that 57 percent of 8th graders in 2008 attended schools where music instruction was provided at least three or four times a week, while 47 percent went to schools where visual-arts instruction was offered at least as often. The percentages don’t differ significantly from those in 1997.

The findings don’t provide evidence to fuel “a concern expressed that schools are cutting out music or other arts,” said Stuart Kerachsky, the acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, the branch of the U.S. Department of Education that produced the report.

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