The NAEP 2008 arts assessment was conducted throughout the nation at grade 8. Because of budgetary constraints, NAEP could not comprehensively assess the arts at grades 4, 8, and 12, so in 2008, the assessment was only administered at grade 8.
Approximately 4,000 eighth-graders were assessed in music, and another 3,900 were assessed in visual arts. Nationally representative samples of schools and students participated in the arts assessment. The results are based on about 260 public and private schools across the nation.
NCES statistical standards require that a nonresponse bias analysis be conducted for any school or student group with a participation rate that falls below 85 percent. The participation rates for the 2008 NAEP arts assessment indicated a need for a school nonresponse bias analysis for the private school sample. The results show that school substitution and nonresponse adjustments were not effective in reducing nonresponse bias for the percentage of Hispanic students enrolled and type of private schools (Catholic and other private schools). The disproportionate nonresponse results in an overestimation of the percentage of Hispanic students, an overestimation of the percentage of Catholic school students, and an underestimation of the percentage of other private school students. See participation rates for the arts assessment.
NAEP does not, and is not designed to, report on the performance of individual students. Instead, it assesses specific populations of in-school students or subgroups of these populations, for example, male and female students, Black and White students, and students in different regions of the country. Samples are selected using a multistage design.
NAEP has always endeavored to assess all students selected as a part of its sampling process, including students who are classified by their schools as students with disabilities (SD) and/or as English language learners (ELL). The decision to exclude any of these students is made by school personnel. School personnel are encouraged to use inclusion criteria provided by NAEP and may discuss their inclusion decisions with NAEP field staff. See tables summarizing the percentage of students identified, excluded, and assessed in the arts.