Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10

U.S. Department of Education

Boy with watercolorStudent access to arts education and the quality of such instruction in the nation’s public schools continue to be of concern to policymakers, educators, and families. Specifically, research has focused on questions such as: To what extent do students receive instruction in the arts? Under what conditions is this instruction provided? What is the profile of arts education instructors? (Ruppert and Nelson 2006).

Two girls at the pianoThis study is the third of its kind to be conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, to provide national data that inform these issues. The first study was conducted in the 1994–95 school year to provide baseline data on public schools’ approaches to arts education. The second study was conducted during the 1999–2000 school year to provide broader coverage of arts education issues by collecting the first national data on educational backgrounds, professional development activities, teaching loads, and instructional practices of elementary school teachers—self-contained classroom teachers, music specialists, and visual arts specialists.