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NAEP 2021 student data collection postponed until 2022.

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) arts assessment measures students' knowledge and skills in the arts by asking them to observe, describe, analyze, and evaluate works of music and visual art and to create original works of visual art. The most recent arts assessment was given in 2016 to approximately 8,800 students in grade 8. About one-half of eighth-grade students were assessed in music (4,300 students), and the other half were assessed in visual arts (4,400 students).

2016 Arts Results

Assessment Content

The arts assessment framework specifies that students’ arts knowledge and skills be measured in four disciplines: dance, music, theater, and visual arts. In 2008 and 2016, NAEP assessed students in music and visual arts. Survey questionnaires, administered to students, teachers, and school administrators who participate in an arts assessment, are used to collect and report contextual information about students’ learning experience in and out of the classroom.

How Arts Results Are Reported

Student performance on the NAEP arts assessment is presented in two ways: scale scores and percentiles.

  • Scale scores represent the average performance of students who took the arts assessment. Scores are aggregated and reported for the nation and groups of students based on gender, race/ethnicity, etc.
  • Percentiles show score results for students performing at lower (10th and 25th percentiles), middle (50th percentile), and higher (75th and 90th percentiles) levels on the reporting scale.

Item maps illustrate how specific arts knowledge and skills correspond to the 25th and 75th NAEP percentiles. Item maps answer the question, “What assessment questions were likely to be answered correctly by lower- and higher-performing students?"

How To Interpret Arts Results

Find out how to interpret the results of the arts assessment, including the potential effects of exclusion on assessment results.

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Last updated 21 September 2020 (AA)