New Jersey last week became what is believed to be the first state in the nation to include visual and performing arts among the items it tracks in annual state school report cards. The data are included in 2013 high school performance reports posted online by the state education department.
Statewide, about 47 percent of high school students, or almost 200,000, took at least one class in an arts area in 2012-13, with music and the visual arts the two most popular. The state requires all students to take at least one class in the arts before graduation.
The performance reports also include other data in three primary areas: academic achievement, college and career readiness, and graduation and postsecondary plans.
A version of this article appeared in the February 05, 2014 edition of Education Week as New Jersey Adds Arts to School Report Cards