June 30 public review new Core Arts Standards

To keep up with what is developing with the public review of the Arts Standards being written by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards visit them on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/NationalCoalitionForCoreArtsStandards?fref=ts

They are planning to release the standards for public review on June 30th.


National Coalition for Core Arts Standards updates


National Core Arts Standards live update – Wednesday October 3rd – 3:00 PM

Livestream link will be active on October 3rd at the link above.

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Issues Media Arts Materials
The Media Arts Team has posted two documents on the site. One is “Media Arts Position Paper” and the other is “Media Arts Frequently Asked Questions.” http://nccas.wikispaces.com/NCCAS+and+Media+Arts

Lynn Tuttle, director of arts education for the Arizona Department of Education and the president of SEADAE – State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, gave an update on the National Core Arts Standards work at AEP’s (Arts Education Partnership http://www.aep-arts.org/) National Forum September 13-14 in Chattanooga, TN. She emphasized that the writing teams are trying to make the process transparent and drafts of the standards will be out in the spring. The standards will have embedded some curricular design and they are working with Jay McTighe and his wife Daisy who is a visual art teacher to embed some common core assessment examples. There will be a show case of student art available on the web for assessment.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman also spoke at the Arts Education Partnership fall forum. http://www.arts.gov/index.html

In his opening address he said the following: “Arts must start behaving like other subjects. Before you break the rules you need to know what they are. There are knowledge and skills you need to know. Standards and assessment don’t stifle creativity if done correctly, they enhance it.”

He also said we set our expectations low and often fail, “We have a saying on Broadway – aim low and miss.”

In a recent article in Education Week I was reminded of a way the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts affect the arts. This is a link to the article, “Common Core Reaches Into Science Classes, Survey Finds”

You can find the section of the common-core on Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects at the link below, by scrolling down to page 59. It includes standards for both reading and writing. http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf

As I mentioned in an earlier post the arts are specifically mentioned as a “technical subject.”
Technical subjects – A course devoted to a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other workforce-related subject; a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music  (p. 43 of Appendix A of Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects) http://www.corestandards.org/

Other good resources:
Americans for the Arts’ Artsblog has a good post from Lynn Tuttle, “Common Core is Here—Don’t Panic!” http://blog.artsusa.org/2012/09/10/common-core-is-here-dont-panic/<

In the Teaching Theatre Journal Jim Palmarini interviews Jay McTighe regarding Cornerstone Tasks, Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions.

ArtsEdSearch Launched!
AEP launched its new research and policy clearinghouse on April 12, 2012. ArtsEdSearch provides user-friendly summaries and overviews of arts education research focused entirely on student and teacher outcomes of arts learning in and out of school. http://www.aep-arts.org/research-policy/artsedsearch/

Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10

The study is the third of its kind to be conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, to provide national data that inform questions on arts education in the nation’s public schools. Report is available here http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012014

There is also an article on some of the findings on EducationWeek:

Arts Instruction Still Widely Available, But Disparities Persist – Curriculum Matters – Education Week here


New National Endowment for the Arts Research Report Shows Potential Benefits of Arts Education for At-Risk Youth

Youth Have Better Academic Outcomes, Higher Career Goals, and Are More Civically Engaged

March 30, 2012

Washington, DC — At-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school also tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement, according to a new NEA report, The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies. The study reports these and other positive outcomes associated with high levels of arts exposure for youth of low socioeconomic status.

To read more and download the report:  http://www.arts.gov/news/news12/Arts-At-Risk-Youth.html

“Child Development and Arts Education: A review of Current Research and Best Practices”

The College Board has done research on several topics for the group that is revising the National Standards for Arts Education, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. The one I have looked at is “Child Development and Arts Education: A review of Current Research and Best Practices.” The charts that start on page 9, “Overview of recommended pedagogical approaches,” struck me as a very useful resource. Dance, music, theatre and visual arts are covered for early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school, and college.

From the webpage Introduction:

Although the body of research is growing that links arts participation to ever-widening developmental gains, there appear to be fewer resources available that explain the ways in which the latest research in cognitive, social, and emotional development in children and young adults may inform the instructional practices of arts educators. The following series of literature reviews aims to address the need for this particular type of information: linking current developmental research with recommended best practices for educators of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts students from grades PreK-14.

http://nccas.wikispaces.com/Child+Development+Research (There is a link to download the PDF file)

In addition are the following research papers and there are also online webinars on the research. (Look under College Board Research in the navigation box on the left of the screen.)
College Standards PDF
International Standards PDF
State Arts Standards PDF
21st Century Gap Analysis PDF

Other topics are planned for the future so check back for them and on the progress of the writing teams.

photo of young girl working on a watercolor of a flower

Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment

Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment: A National Endowment for the Arts Research Roundtable
On February 14, 2012, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hosted a day-long series of panels and presentations to examine the latest trends, current practices, and future directions for arts learning standards and assessment methods. The press release on NEA’s website states that an archive video of the complete webcast will be available beginning February 21, 2012.

I watched the webcast on February 14th. There was good information shared and lots of food for thought from the conversation among the participants. I recommend finding some time to watch at least the sections that interest you most when the archive becomes available.

Beginning is a short welcome by Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the NEA and James H. Shelton III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education.

The first panel (1 hour) begins with an overview of the history of the Common Core Standards.
Followed by information on research (“implementation makes a big difference”, “Be careful to claim 21st century skills in the arts will transfer to other 21st century skills.”), an update on NAEP “nation’s report card” on the arts, and comments from Samuel Hoi, Otis College of Art and Design. Hoi said many things that caught my attention and I will go back and listen to this section again when the archive is posted.

Second panel (1 hour) begins with an overview of the Partnership for the 21st Century Skills.
Followed by an update from the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) (see the end of this post for some links to their wiki site), a report on the research the College Board has done for the NCCAS to help them with their work, and a report on the revision of the arts standards done by Colorado (well worth watching).

There is a 30 minute break which I assume will be edited out of the archive followed by a presentation of the NEA’s latest research report, Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations. Daniel Beattie, Acting Director of Arts Education at the NEA also outlined the next steps for NEA arts education grants in this section. The NEA is especially interested in professional development with “how to design and implement high quality assessment of student learning in the arts” specifically mentioned. (45 minutes) There is a 45 minute lunch break after this  – also assume will be edited out.

Third panel (1 hour) is a conversation about some model assessment practices and potential problems in arts assessment.

The last hour is a conversation between the participants and a few people invited to be in the audience on ideas for moving the field forward.

Links to the archive and the NEA study Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations:
 February 14th webcast archive
Participant bios
National study of arts educational assessment tools and strategies (pdf)

National Coalition for CORE ARTS Standards
A draft preliminary version of the framework is available as a PDF.

There is also a video archive of the revision update on  January 24, 2012. (The image quality is fuzzy but the sound is better.)  Below the video window is an archive of comments made by people watching the live feed (and comments on tech issues). There is a short advertisement at the beginning of both – trade off for free service.

Teaching Artists and the Future of Education

A Report on the Teaching Artist Research Project
By NORC at the University of Chicago August 2011

“Prior studies have provided strong evidence that arts education has powerful positive effects on student achievement and outcomes. NORC’s new study offers hope to schools struggling to preserve arts education programs and to policy-makers searching for effective education strategies to improve schools.”


By 1982 65% of 18 year olds had taken any classes or lessons in any art form during their childhood. By 2008, and throughout a period of heightened concern and effort to improve schools, particularly those serving low-income children, it had dropped below half again, and the decline shows no sign of abating.

Among the art forms, the decline has been most serious in music and visual art, the two disciplines most commonly taught in schools. Theater and dance, which are taught rarely in schools, are actually up slightly since 1982.

It would seem logical that any strategy to reverse the broad decline in arts education, any effort to distribute arts education more equitably in American schools, or any effort to extend the successes of arts education programs in schools would include teaching artists (TAs) as a critical element.

Schools need full-time arts faculty, and those that have arts specialists need TAs as well. Provision of a reasonable dose of arts education for all students is clearly beyond the capacity of the low numbers of specialists in most schools. They need to be supplemented. It is time to move beyond the either/or choice between arts specialists and TAs. There is simply no way to expand arts education for all children in schools without the development of TAs as a resource.

There is a section on “What is good teaching?” that points out the characteristics of good teaching are what teaching artists and arts specialists are doing in the classroom. I highly recommend this report to everyone involved in arts education for the background info, research findings and the recommendations.

Executive Summary and Final Report are available at this link.