National arts scores are in, and the western US lags behind
Only a third of eighth-graders in the western U.S. took an art class last year and only 17 percent played in the school band, the lowest figures of any region in the country, according to a recently released national arts assessment. The assessment, given to a random sampling of eighth-graders once every eight years by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, looked at how many students were enrolled in visual art and music classes at their schools, how well the students understood basic art and music principles and other criteria intended to measure the quality of arts education in the U.S. The assessment is the largest and one of the only assessments of arts education in the country.
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