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Feb 14, 2012
Guild members participated as survey respondents in the first-ever nationwide effort to examine current practices in the assessment of K-12 student learning in the arts both in and out of the classroom. Commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and conducted by evaluation firm WestEd, Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts provides a description of the current state of arts assessment, including a review of the high-quality literature available and common practices being used to assess student learning. It also identifies potential areas in which arts assessment could be improved.
The report has broken out the study’s findings by different stakeholder groups who particpated to offer a clearer picture of their particular experiences with assessing students’ arts knowledge and skills, and of their needs related to arts assessment. These stakeholders included school and district staff, arts/cultural organizations, arts councils, arts researchers/evaluators and others. “Understanding the assessment experiences and practices of arts education stakeholders, including their needs, is one step toward helping improve student assessment in the arts,” notes the NEA.
Recommendations for improving arts assessment include:
On February 14, Guild Executive Director Jonathan Herman represented constituents at the NEA’s convening and live webcast, Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment: A National Endowment for the Arts Research Roundtable, which highlighted key findings of the report. Patricia Moore Shaffer, former Senior Evaluation Officer at the National Endowment for the Arts, presented a session highlighting findings of this study at the Guild's 74th annual Conference for Community Arts Education in Boston, MA this past November.
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