Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Results from 2016 NAEP Arts Assessment
Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Arts are unchanged from the last time the test was given, in 2008, according to assessment results released today (April 25). Survey results show that the percentage of Grade 8 students taking a music or visual arts course in school is also unchanged from 2008, but participation in the arts outside of school has declined in several areas.
The National Center for Educational Statistics released results for the 2016 NAEP Arts assessment, which measures students' knowledge and skills in the arts disciplines of music and visual arts. The assessment was administered to a nationally representative sample of 8,800 Grade 8 students in 280 public and private schools across the country. Approximately half of the students took the music assessment and the other half took the visual arts assessment.
On the Music assessment, students were asked to analyze, interpret, or critique a piece of music that they listened to or describe the social, historical, or cultural context of a piece of music. Other “creating” questions asked students to use musical notation to apply their musical ideas after evaluating written or recorded pieces of music. In Visual Arts, students were asked to analyze, describe, or judge works of art and design to show understanding of form, aesthetics, and cultural or historical context. Creating questions asked students to use form, media, or techniques to create original works of art and design to communicate an idea.
Among the assessment results:
• On a scale of 0-300 points, students scored a 147 on the music assessment and 149 on the visual arts assessment;
• While overall scores were statistically unchanged from 2008, the gap in scores between White and Hispanic students narrowed in music from 32 points to 23 points. In visual arts, the White-Hispanic gap narrowed from 26 points in 2008 to 19 points in 2016;
• Female students scored higher than male students on both the music and visual arts assessments (15 and 14 points, respectively), although the gaps were not different from 2008; and
• Private school students scored higher than public school students on both the music and visual arts assessments (14 and 16 points, respectively), although the gaps were not differently from 2008.
Participation in the Arts
Students who took the Arts NAEP were also asked survey questions about their participation in the arts inside and outside of school. Among the findings:
• The percentage of students taking music and visual arts courses wasn’t statistically different from 2008. About 63 percent of students said they took a music class at school and 42 percent said they took a visual arts course;
• About 35 percent of Grade 8 students said they played a musical instrument on their own, which is lower than 2008, and 14 percent took private music lessons, which is statistically unchanged from 2008. About two-thirds of the students (67 percent) said they listened to a musical performance in a theater, which is lower than 2008;
• About 25 percent of the students said they went to art museums or exhibits, which is statistically unchanged from 2008. The percentage of students who reported taking art classes outside of school (13 percent) and making artwork on their own (56 percent) was lower than 2008, but the percentage who said they kept an art journal/sketchbook on their own (43 percent) was higher.