Date of Award

Fall 9-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid


Due to federal laws requiring standardized testing of only a select few of the core subjects, many students have been divested of fine arts instruction (Chen, 2008; Garcia, 2010; Jacobsen & Rothstein, 2009; Maxwell, 2008; Suzuki, 2009). Moreover, school officials have reduced funding allocated to non-tested content areas as one means of balancing district budgets in a poor economy (Chen, 2008; Garcia, 2010). This mixed method study examined music educators’ and curriculum directors’ perceptions of how federal education laws have affected public school fine arts. Analysis of data from interviews of six music educators and six curriculum directors were conducted concurrently with the distribution of a Likert online survey. The interview and survey methodologies provided descriptive data of educators’ perceptions regarding the consideration of fine arts as a core subject in policy and practice, the role of public school fine arts in the education of the whole child, the overall value of the fine arts in light of brain research, and the controversy surrounding the standardized assessment of the fine arts. The findings of the study revealed that even though all curriculum directors and music educators agreed the fine arts should be included in a child’s holistic education, music educators possessed stronger beliefs regarding the fine arts being considered a core subject, Curriculum directors indicated their districts valued the fine arts as a public relations tool and as a means to boost achievement in other subjects, while music educators in the same district spoke of feeling devalued, indicating a disconnect in communication between administrators and staff. Finally, though many educators oppose the standardized testing of the fine arts, the assessments would provide valuable data.


Copyright 2013