Thanks to the support of RI Commissioner of Education, Dr. Kenneth Wagner, and the work of the four professional arts educator associations—RI Music Education Association, RI Art Education Association, Dance Alliance, RI Theater Education Association --- the National Core Arts Standards are now the official K-12 arts standards for Rhode Island. The National Core Arts Standards are the latest generation arts standards, developed collaboratively by the national arts educator associations and teacher and teaching artist leaders from across the country. They are becoming the commonly accepted standards nationally, with several states including Vermont already having adopted them, and many more states in the adoption pipeline. Rhode Island's decision was made following surveys of the membership of the four arts educator associations, with a follow-up survey by RIDE to double check the initial results. The results were clear across districts and arts disciplines in favor of the new national standards. A key benefit of this approval is that media arts will be included for the first time.
Background on National Core Arts Standards
The National Standards for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts were created by seventy writers representing NCAS’s arts education member organizations. More than 6,000 educators, teaching artists, parents, students and state and local focus groups offered input in four national reviews that helped shaped the final standards. Our own Marty Sprague of the RI Dance Alliance was involved in their development.
The NCAS PreK-12 grade-by-grade standards are intended to guide educators seeking to provide quality arts education for America’s students, define artistic literacy, and support 21st century skills and college and career readiness. A key feature of the interactive website is the option for teachers and other users to create customized standards handbooks that match their curriculum and students’ learning needs.
The initiation of new national standards goes back to a comprehensive vision and project of SEADAE’s known as National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education (NELAE).
The eight focus areas of National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education are:
- · Student Learning
- · Standards, curriculum, & assessment
- · Teacher Practice
- · Teacher preparation & professional development
- · Educational Leadership
- · Policy Development (national, state, local)
- · Community Partnership
- · Data Collection