arts education policy
National Arts Education Policy
With the passing of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the arts were written into Federal law as a core academic subject in K–12 public schools. The arts maintain their status under the No Child Left Behind Act. While the Federal government asserts that the arts are a core academic subject, it does not require that states and/or school districts offer programming. Most states have an arts education mandate, but school districts are usually left to oversee the implementation and funding of such programs.
Funding for arts education is available through federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts. It should be noted that Federal funding for arts education is limited compared to other programmatic funding. For FY 2005, the U.S. Department of Education received approximately $40 million in appropriations for arts education grants, the largest appropriation to date.
To learn more about accessing Federal funds, see No Subject Left Behind: A Guide to Arts Education Opportunities in the 2001 NCLB Act, a resource designed to help organizations and agencies gain insight into funding opportunities for the arts through the U.S. Department of Education.
The National Endowment for the Arts also offers funding for arts education programming.
In 1994, the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations presented the National Arts Standards, a set of voluntary content and achievement standards for K–12 students studying visual art, dance, theater, and music. These standards outline what the nation’s school children should know and be able to do in the arts. Since their creation, the standards have served as a model for endorsement and design by more than 45 state departments of education.
The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for large-scale research initiatives that assess the status of arts programming and policy within elementary and secondary public schools. Their findings inform policy and track trends within the field of arts education.
The National Center for Education Statistics' Arts Assessment
In 1997, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) administered an arts assessment to approximately 6,480 eighth-grade students nationwide. The national sample assessed 268 schools. The assessment measured students' knowledge and skills in music, theater, and visual arts.