On the first national assessment of students’ performance in visual arts and music in eight years, girls, suburban students, private schoolers, and higher-income students came out ahead of their peers.
Despite fears about dramatic cuts in recent years to arts programs, students’ overall scores and reported participation in the arts have remained about steady since 2008, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress arts assessment. It sampled some 8,800 8th graders in public and private schools in late 2016.
Still, substantial differences and changes remain among geographic areas, school types, and students’ family income levels and racial backgrounds.
A version of this article appeared in the May 10, 2017 edition of Education Week as 8th Graders’ Arts Scores Hold Steady on NAEP