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2016 Arts Education Assessment Framework

This framework was used to develop the 1997, 2008, and 2016 NAEP Arts Education Assessments. For 2016, NAEP tested students in music and the visual arts based on a nationally representative sample of eighth-grade schools. Results of the 2016 arts assessment will be released in spring 2017. Due to budget constraints and the small percentage of schools with theatre and dance programs, these arts disciplines were not assessed in 2016.

In 1997, the NAEP Arts Assessment was conducted nationally at grade 8. For music and the visual arts, representative samples of public and nonpublic school students were assessed. For theatre, a special targeted sample was selected from eighth-grade schools that offered theatre courses and from students who took those courses. Dance was not assessed because only a small percentage of schools had regular dance programs.

Findings from the 1997 and 2008 NAEP Arts Assessments were reported in several ways: a brief Highlights Report, a comprehensive Arts Report Card, a CD-ROM containing sample tasks and student responses, and an online report of the test development process. More information on these materials is available at

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