Arts Education Programs in Maryland Schools: Evaluating Assessment Models and the Influence of Educational Policies

Mentor: Dr. Joe Lucchesi


Abstract: Maryland currently does not have arts education assessment standards, which would evaluate the content standards in the arts. Lacking these assessments means schools are not required to evaluate the progress of their students and allows for discrepancies in the quality of the arts programs schools are providing. Using Maryland as my primary case study, this paper investigates arts education funding, support, standards and policies. Arts education in the United States has recently seen a steep decline in funding due to a lack of emphasis on arts education benefits, because other academic subjects, such as math and the sciences, are considered a priority. Due to the lack of funding, the arts have been cut from some schools. However, many studies have been conducted to reveal that the arts are extremely beneficial for children’s development and help them become well-rounded students. Despite this, some school systems do not financially support the arts as much as they support other programs. Within Maryland, there are discrepancies between school districts, where some schools prioritize the arts and others do not. Without some way of assessing how children are benefiting from the arts, resistance to maintain arts education programs continues. Creating a set of standard assessments and increasing awareness of the importance of the arts will help promote the continuance of arts education in American schools and therefore ensure that every student is guaranteed proper arts programs throughout their entire educational career.