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Music Education In Public Schools Gets A Passing Grade

Mike Lawson • News • April 12, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a rather hopeful report titled Arts Education In Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999-2000 and 2009-10, in which it found music education to be almost universally available in American public schools.The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a rather hopeful report titled Arts Education In Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999-2000 and 2009-10, in which it found music education to be almost universally available in American public schools.

“In the 2009-10 school year, music education was almost universally available in the nation’s public elementary schools, with 94% of schools offering instruction that was designated specifically for music,” the report states. “Music instruction was available in almost all public secondary schools,” with the actual number given at 91%. Furthermore, the number doesn’t seem to have changed over the past decade.

Teachers, surveyed by the report gave less positive answers. Elementary school music specialists rated the support for their teaching “somewhat or very inadequate” in a variety of areas: funding (40%), facilities (27%), materials, equipment, tools and instruments (23%), instructional time in the arts (28%) and the number of arts specialists (36%). Read in-depth analysis of the report at NPR’s music blog, The Record.

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