Students taking the assessments in music were asked questions that required both responding and creative and critical thinking. A sample response question was to ask students to identify the instrument featured in a solo piece of music.
Students in the visual arts were asked to identify the similarities between two self-portraits. They were also asked to add a project to the tasks being measured by including the creation of a self-portrait with materials that were supplied.
The full assessment that includes grades 4 and 12 was not included due to budget cuts. Dance and Theater were not assessed due to the small number of schools that offer all four arts.
The 2008 NAEP arts assessment indicates a decrease in student achievement and a decrease in student visits to museums and other cultural institutions. View data, full report and archived webcast of the NAEP news release event.
The purpose for conducting an assessment in the arts is to provide evidence based practices to guide arts education instruction and make these practices available to all educators and students.