The Measuring Up: NH Arts Education Data Project releases findings today from the 2008-2009 voluntary school survey examining the status and condition of arts education in New Hampshire public schools. Key findings from the report include 88% of elementary students participate in both music and visual arts classes for approximately 50 minutes per week in each art form.73% of high schools have a local policy that exceeds the state graduation requirement of one-half credit in the arts. 67% of schools spend $20 or less per student per year on materials and resources for all arts education combined, excluding teacher salaries and capital expenditures. 15% spend $1 or less.
A total of 153 NH public schools representing 84,840 students completed the voluntary survey (or 32% of the schools and 43.6% of the student population). The report includes findings from the 2008-09 school-by-school survey plus recommendations and actions for supporting arts education.
The Measuring Up project is a partnership initiative of the NH Department of Education (NHDOE), the NH State Council on the Arts (NHSCA) and the Arts Alliance of Northern NH (AANNH). Research lead and data analysis was provided by Quadrant Arts Education Research.
Commissioner of Education, Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D. notes “I believe the arts are an important component of education for the whole child, preparing students more completely for success in college and careers. The skills developed by studying the arts include collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, flexibility, and perseverance; and these are critical to the 21st century skills needed to succeed in college, career, and life. The arts enliven our schools with music, visual arts, dance, and theatre and showcase our students’ abilities in these areas.”
Dr. Roger Brooks, Chair of the NH State Council on the Arts, and a retired principal and educator for more than 35 years adds “This report gives visibility to schools’ successes; encourages school and community leaders to sustain and enhance their quality arts programs; and provides a catalyst for discussion in schools and across school districts focused on common interests and needs. We ask parents, educators, artists, and community and business leaders to read the report and reflect on the results and recommendations.”
The project is funded by the NHDOE, the NHSCA, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with grants support from the NH Charitable Foundation, Lincoln Financial Foundation and others. The survey instrument, data tables, a list of participating schools, an executive summary, plus resources for parents, educators, students and community leaders will be posted online at http://www.aannh.org/measuringup