Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations

By Sharon Herpin, Adrienne Quinn Washington, Jian Li

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Description

This study—the first of its kind—examines current trends, promising techniques, and successful practices being used to assess K-12 student learning in the arts nationwide.

The study also identifies potential areas in which arts assessment could be improved, ultimately increasing student academic achievement.

Given the increased focus on assessment and accountability since the 1990s, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) identified the need to capture the current status of arts assessment. NEA commissioned WestEd to conduct this study and produce a resulting report.

The report features:

  • A brief history of arts assessment
  • A description of the methodology used to capture study data
  • Findings from the researchers’ literature review and survey responses
  • Conclusions about the current status of arts assessment
  • Recommendations

The recommendations, in particular, set the stage for significant improvements in the quality, efficiency, cohesion, and usefulness of student assessment in the arts, in order to ultimately improve student learning.

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