Curriculum Report Roundup

Arts Assessment

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — September 30, 2008 1 min read

Large-scale assessment of students’ proficiency in the arts could help ensure that children are offered standards-based instruction in music, visual art, theater, and dance, a new report contends, even though effectively carrying out such assessment is hard to do.

“One-time, on-demand assessments may capture only a small part of what is taught and learned in the arts,” states the report by SRI International, a research institute based in Menlo Park, Calif.

Still, the report cites research showing that subjects that are tested tend to receive greater emphasis in the curriculum. The report was sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is one in an ongoing series of reports on arts education.

The report describes arts assessment in five states—Kentucky, Minnesota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Washington state—and the strengths and weaknesses of those programs. It also discusses the benefits and drawbacks of testing students in the arts.

A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2008 edition of Education Week

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