New Data: Who Is Taking Art Classes?

After the National Assessment of Educational Progress in the arts was cut from the budget this year, researchers found a new way to explore who has access to arts classes: the NAEP’s 2019 math assessment.

In a blog post from the Education Commission on the States, they write that "the math assessment can’t tell us much about how students performed in the arts, but it did ask students the following question: Are you taking an art course this school year (for example, drawing, painting, or studio art)?"

From the report: 

In one respect, though, the math assessment does the arts assessment one better: Where NAEP arts offered only national results, the mathematics assessment provides data broken out by state.

Here are the big takeaways from our analysis:

  • Thirty-seven percent of eighth graders say they were taking an art course in 2019.
  • There are stark differences among states, where art course-taking ranges from a low of 16% to a high of 68%.
  • There are also disparities by students’ race, ethnicity, family income and school location.

The 2019 results largely confirm results from the 2016 NAEP arts assessment: In 2016, 43% of eighth graders said they had taken an art course that year; and results varied by race, ethnicity, gender, family income and school location.

Read the full post here >>

Published: November 13, 2019