The major thesis of this paper is that the forms used in conventional approaches to educational evaluation have a set of profound consequences on the conduct and character of schooling in the United States. Unless those forms can be expanded so that they attend to qualities of educational life relevant to the arts, it is not likely that the arts will secure a meaningful place in American schools. To understand why we evaluate the way that we do, it is important to examine the sources through which evaluation became a kind of field within American education. If we examine the past we will find that since the turn of the century, since the early work of Edward L. Thorndike, there has been a strong aspiration among psychologists to create a science of education which would provide educational practitioners – administrators as well as teachers – with the kind of knowledge that would permit prediction through control of the process and consequences of schooling. Laws that would do for educational practitioners what the work of Einstein, Maxwell, and Bohr have done for physicists were the object of the educational scientist's dream. This yearning for prediction through control was, of course, reflected in the desire to make schools more efficient and presumably more effective. Educational research was to discover the laws of learning that would replace intuition and artistry with knowledge and prescribed method. The hunt was on for the one best method to teach the various fields of study that constituted the curriculum. This aspiration to discover the laws of learning was allied with the efficiency movement in education that sought to install scientific management procedures in schools through time-and-motion study of teaching practice. 1 It reflected then, as it does today, the need to discover the principles and practices that would give us efficient and effective schools.