Yesterday the National Assessment of Educational Progress released the 2008 Arts Report Card. This survey and assessment compared 8th grade students in 2008 with those in 1997. Click here to view a sample question in the study then test yourself.
Here are a few of the findings in Visual Arts:
- “Students eligible for National School Lunch Program have lower average responding score in visual arts than those who were not eligible. There is a 29-point score gap between the groups.”
- “Eighth-graders in private schools have higher average creating task score in visual arts than students in public schools.”
Additional insight into the study can be found in a New York Times article.
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, perhaps summed it up best:
“This Arts Report Card should challenge all of us to make K-12 arts programs more available to America’s children and youth. Such programs not only engage students’ creativity and academic commitment today, but they uniquely equip them for future success and fulfillment. We can and should do better for America’s students.”
This study reminded me of my unofficial job as an advocate for the arts. The TeacherTube video below makes a great case for supporting the arts in every community.
Arts advocacy articles you may find useful:
Age of the Right Brain
Visual Interaction with Art Boosts Academic Achievement
Why Arts Education is Crucial, and Who’s Doing It Best
Arts Appear to Play a Role in Brain Development
Three Rs Are Essential, but Don’t Forget the A – the Arts
Technology Makes Art Education a Bigger Draw
Update 6/17/09: NAEA, Maximizing The Nation’s Arts Report Card – Great review of 2008 Arts Report Card with key findings and links to news press articles.