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Time in the arts and physical education and school achievement

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With the increase in state-mandated high-stakes testing across the USA, schools and school districts are considering ways of increasing instructional time for core curricular subjects such as mathematics, science, English, and social studies. One seemingly logical approach to improving test scores is to reduce the time spent in subjects that are not tested, most notably art, music, and physical education, thus increasing time for the tested subjects. In this study, data was collected from 547 Virginia elementary school principals who completed a survey indicating the time specialists taught art, music, and physical education in their schools. After controlling for socio-cultural opportunities associated with the school community, partial correlations between time allocation and school-level passing rates on the Virginia Standards of Learning tests indicated no meaningful relationship between time allocation to art, music, and physical education and school achievement. The findings from the study do not support the notion that a reduced time allocation to art, music, and physical education is related to higher test scores.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2003

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