A survey from the National Center for Education Statistics suggests that arts instruction is widespread in U.S. public schools, though it’s typically offered only once or twice a week.
Taking a “first look” at data collected for the 2009-10 school year, the survey suggests that most public elementary schools offered specific instruction for music (94 percent) and visual arts (83 percent), but very few taught dance (3 percent) and drama/theater (4 percent). Of those elementary schools that provided music or visual arts instruction, three-quarters did so one or two times a week.
While music and visual arts were also offered in most public secondary schools—91 percent and 89 percent, respectively—drama fared better at that level, with 45 percent of schools offering it. Dance was available at 12 percent of public secondary schools, the report says.
A version of this article appeared in the May 18, 2011 edition of Education Week as Arts Education