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Tech Report  September 1, 2008

An Unfinished Canvas: A Review of Large-Scale Assessment in K-12 Arts Education



Stites, R. & Malin, H. (2008). An unfinished canvas. A review of large-scale assessment in K–12 arts education. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.


This paper provides a review of the status of large-scale arts assessments and current practice in statewide arts assessment for the purpose of K–12 education accountability. We begin with an overview of the recent history of developments in standards, assessment, and accountability in arts education. Next, we describe and discuss the strengths and limitations of several influential approaches to large-scale arts assessment, the NAEP Arts Assessment and two large-scale portfolio assessment models, the IB arts portfolio assessment and the AP Studio Art portfolio program. Then follows a discussion of the very different approaches to standards-based arts assessment adopted by the five states that had active large-scale arts assessment programs: Kentucky, Washington, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Minnesota.

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