Parents and students will be pleased to know they can now use a new database from the Oregon Arts Comission (OAC) to search the range of arts classes offered in Oregon schools. The five search categories are visual, music, dance, theatre, and media arts.
The database, which uses information from the No Child Left Behind reporting requirements for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, sheds light on where the arts are taught in Oregon. But it also reveals the instability of arts education for many schools across the state.
Key findings from the Oregon Arts Commission’s 2010-2011 study, which will be published in July, revealed that 21 percent of Oregon public schools did not offer any regular, stand-alone arts courses. That was a one percent drop when compared to the Commission’s 2009-2010 data (pdf). According to Deborah Vaughn, OAC Arts Education Coordinator, a closer look at the number “reveals a more volatile reality.” She says:
“This one percent negative change is the result of over 150 arts classes being cut from schools and slightly fewer than that being added to other schools. This indicates a high degree of instability and inconsistency in classes available to an individual student from year to year.”
Have you experienced changes or cuts with arts programs at your school?
- Deb Vaughn: Arts Education Coordinator at Oregon Arts Commission