Elementary schools without drama classes. High schools with large numbers of poor students that do not offer music. Those are two of the bleaker pictures that emerged Monday from a report by the U.S. Department of Education on the state of arts education, the Huffington Post reports. Fewer public elementary schools are offering visual arts, dance and drama classes than a decade ago, a decline many attribute to budget cuts and an increased focus on math and reading. The percentage of elementary schools with a visual arts class declined from 87 to 83 percent. In drama, the drop was larger: From 20 percent to 4 percent in the 2009-10 school year. Music at the elementary and secondary school levels remained steady, though there were declines at the nation’s poorest schools. Speaking at a Washington, D.C. school, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that the report painted a mixed picture: On the one hand, there has not been a dramatic narrowing of the arts curriculum. Music and visual arts classes are still widely offered, and there hasn’t been a decline in dance or drama offerings at the middle and high school level…

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