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Apr 25, 2017 01:56 PM EDT

On Tuesday, the National Center for Education Statistics found that American teenagers roughly pass music and art test conducted last year. In music, the average score was 147 while for visual arts, the median score was 149 on a scale of 300.

According to NZ Herald, about 8, 800 eighth graders from public and private schools in the US participated in the exams. For the record, the study was done as part of the National Assessment of Education Progress, better known as the Nation's Report Card.The organization's acting Commissioner, Peggy Carr, said in earlier media interviews that the exams show that the eighth graders need to be taught more about music and national arts.

Actually, 2016's test was not the first of its kind. There was a similar exam conducted over eight years ago, meant to answer the same question - how knowledgeable are US teenagers in visual arts and music? Unfortunately, there had been no progress since the last results were published.

On a brighter note, per NPR, the achievement gap between Hispanic and American students has narrowed down. Since the previous test, the gap was decreased from a difference of 32 (2008) to 23 points in music last year. Meanwhile, for arts test, the difference went from 26 to just 19 points in 2016. Still, the girls have outperformed the boys.

In the same manner, the black and white American achievement gap, remain unchanged too. The latter group scored an average of 158 while the former got 129 points on the music test. The margin of difference on arts test was pretty similar. White students got 158 while black students had 128 points.

Experts believe that the changing tastes of teenagers affected the results of the tests. For one, when the researchers asked the respondents to listen to George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", only nearly half of the students were able to identify it in the opening clarinet solo. Indeed, educators have to reintroduce historic national arts and genius classical music to the current generation.

Follows American teenagers, importance of national art, importance of music, National Arts, Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin, The National Center for Education Statistics, art, music
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