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The Nation's Report Card

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Time spent in arts instruction in school

As part of the 2008 arts assessment, school principals were asked how often eighth-grade students receive arts instruction in school. The text of the actual question is below.

 Visual Arts
Percentage of students at grade 8, by school-reported frequency with which instruction in visual arts is available: 1997 and 2008
  Percentage of students
How often does a typical eighth-grade student in your school receive instruction in visual arts? 1997 2008
Subject not offered 17 14
Less than once a week 5 10
Once or twice a week 25 30
At least 3 or 4 times a week 52 47
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. View complete data with standard errors.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1997 and 2008 Arts Assessments.


  • In 2008, forty-seven percent of eighth-graders were reported to be receiving instruction in visual arts at least 3 or 4 times a week compared to 52 percent in 1997.

Browse the NAEP questionnaires.

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