NASAA Notes: February 2014


February issue
Back to all issues
February 5, 2014

New Jersey: First State to Include Arts Education in Annual School Assessment

New Jersey recently marked a national milestone when it became the first state to include arts education in its annual assessment of public schools. While the State of New Jersey Department of Education‘s comprehensive evaluation—its second ever—does not measure students’ grades or test scores in the arts, it does report on the percentage of high school students enrolled in courses (dance, drama/theater, music and visual arts) that fulfill New Jersey’s one-year arts requirement. The School Performance Report for 2012-13 shows that 47.7% of students (about 200,000 students) took one or more arts classes, which is about twice the number expected if students met only the minimum graduation requisite. The report presents the arts data in terms of college and career readiness, reflecting the Department of Education’s position that creativity and innovation leverage academic and professional success. The inclusion of the arts education metric is a direct result of the most recent New Jersey Arts Education Census Report, a project of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, which is cosponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) and the ArtPride NJ Foundation. Additional support comes from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the state department of education, the Prudential Foundation and Quadrant Research. To learn more, contact NJSCA Senior Program Officer – Arts Education Robin Middleman.