FOR IMPROVEMENT IN ARTS
EDUCATION, EXPERTS SAY
in residence Jubal Harris works with students at David Smith Elementary School in
instruction," said U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. "At a time when creativity and communication skills are at a premium, arts should be used for their rich potential to captivate and engage students in learning."
Many American students are not competent in the visual arts, music and theatre, according to a 1997 study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) known as the Nation's Report Card. The study found that many schools do not offer an arts curriculum and in those that do, only about one-third of the students are involved in creating or performing.
The Report Card, the nation's first major assessment of arts education in 20 years, was released recently by the U.S. Department of Education. It is based on
|an evaluation of 6,660 eighth-grade students in 268 schools across the country.
Assess-ments were made in music, visual arts, theatre and dance. However, in dance the
sample was too small to obtain statistically valid results due to the lack of school-based
programs in that discipline.
Students were assessed on their ability to respond to works of art, create original works on their own and perform or recreate existing works. "I am disappointed by these results because they show that as a nation we are falling far short in the opportunities we provide to our students for quality arts