Dear National Core Arts Standards Reviewer:
Thank you for participating in the July review of PreK-8 grade standards. More than 34,000 arts educators and advocates visited the draft standards pages in July, and more than 3,000 of you participated in the online review survey – thank you! We had reviewers from all 50 states and several international reviewers participate as well, showing widespread interest in the revision of our nation’s arts education standards.
Early in August, the five writing teams for dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts met at The College Board in Reston, Virginia, to review and work with your input. Your responses confirmed that you, our colleagues and practitioners in the field, agreed with the construction and framework of the standards. In addition to the Likert and scaled questions, researchers in each discipline captured and distilled the many substantive written comments from reviewers and shared them with the teams.
Some of the common questions which were identified in the survey responses include:
• How do we best balance the need for content within an artistic process framework?
• How much content is the right balance for a set of standards, without dictating curriculum?
• How can we simplify our language and still retain the essence of the artistic discipline we are describing?
• What is the difference between “domain specific language” and jargon when trying to describe an artistic discipline?
• Are there opportunities for increasing the commonality between the artistic disciplines while still distinguishing and honoring the differences between them?
Threads of need in the responses include:
• A glossary of terms for the standards.
• A refined reader-friendly format for the standards themselves, and a complimentary web-based architecture which is both searchable and intuitive.
• A “tagging” system that will identify performance standards in both Music and Visual Arts which meet the Conceptual Framework’s definition of Connecting, and therefore allow the web-based set of standards to reflect the underlying Connecting standards for each of these disciplines, along with those identified by Dance, Media Arts and Theatre.
Please mark your calendars for a public review of the draft 9-12 standards beginning September 30, 2013. For our music colleagues – the music writing team will be sharing one of its 3 strands for high school standards as part of the public review – the performing ensembles strand. This strand is meant to work for traditional performing ensembles such as choir and band as well as more diverse ensembles, such as chamber ensembles, mariachi, African drumming and guitar ensembles.
At the bottom of this email you will find a link to a blank certificate acknowledging participation as a reviewer of the standards for those who are interested in receiving a more formal recognition. Simply download, add your name and print the letter of recognition for your future reference.
Once again, thank you for participating in the review of the National Core Arts Standards. Your input is vital to creating a useful set of standards for your students, your classroom and your colleagues nationwide.
Philip Shepherd, NCCAS National Core Arts Standards Project Director