National arts test scores offer clouded picture

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON (AP) - Half of the country's eighth graders answered multiple-choice questions about music correctly on national tests.

But the results for music and art tests issued Monday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress raise more questions than they answer.

Considered the benchmark of how students perform across the country, the NAEP report doesn't say how many students are actually taking classes in the arts.

Nor does it say what the impact of the recession and budget cuts rippling through the nation's schools is having on arts education.

Eileen Weiser, a classical pianist and a member of the board that oversees the tests, says the big question now is what value music and art have in U.S. schools.