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NCCAS 2015-16 High School Model Cornerstone Assessment Pilot

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has issued a call for high school arts educators to pilot the National Core Arts Standards Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) in dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts during the 2015-2016 school year.

MCAs are curriculum-embedded performance-based assessment examples that are designed to model standards-based arts assessment and student achievement. The pilot follows a similar project that was conducted during 2014-15, in which 75 arts educators piloted the MCAs at grades 2, 5, and 8. The 2015-16 pilot teachers, working with the MCAs at the high school benchmark levels of Proficient, Accomplished, and Advanced, will put the example tasks “on their feet,” focusing on students’ application of their knowledge and skills in in authentic and relevant contexts.

Twelve to fifteen pilot educators from each of the five arts disciplines will be selected, with an effort to achieve a balance of rural, suburban, and urban classroom settings across the country. Prior to the launch of the full project in January, 2016, chosen teachers will be asked to pre-pilot the assessment in their discipline with a small test population of 1-2 students in November. Those selected will be asked to participate in online training; secure administrator approval of participation and permissions to share student work; pilot the assessment with their students; select student work; and upload appropriate images, audio, or video files that documents student work.

Applications will be accepted through Wednesday October 21st, 2015. Applicants must complete an online application form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/HighSchoolMCA and forward a résumé or CV, along with a signed letter of permission from your principal or school administrator to the Project Manager at projectmanager@seadae.org. NCCAS will contact chosen applicants and announce selected pilot sites by November 5, 2015.

The Model Cornerstone Assessment pilot project is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Questions should be addressed to NCCAS leadership representative Lynn Tuttle at LynnT@nafme.org.

For documentation of the process please visit HERE.



Applications are now open for the 2015 College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.external link icon

This annual award recognizes and celebrates the achievements of arts initiatives for students in grades 6–12 that promote learning and creativity in exemplary and innovative ways. Awards are given in three categories:

Arts Integration: Awarding an initiative that uses an innovative approach to cross-curricular study, drawing connections between arts-based learning and the themes, content, and ideas of other subjects.

Equity Through Arts: Awarding a program that uses the arts as a tool for increasing academic engagement among underserved students.

Civic Engagement/Professional Partnerships: Recognizing a school that uses art experiences as vehicles for engagement with local arts professionals and/or nonprofit organizations.

An award of $5,000 will be given to a winning school in each category. Among the three winning schools, one will be named the national winner and will be awarded an additional $2,500. The application deadline is April 13, 2015.

Visit our websiteexternal link icon for further details and full application instructions, including eligibility criteria. Email acharleroy@collegeboard.org with any questions during the application process.

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program 
Applications Now Open

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is accepting applications for the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

The twelve award-winning programs this year will each receive $10,000 and an invitation to accept their award from the President's Committee's Honorary Chairman, First Lady Michelle Obama, at a ceremony at the White House.

After-school and out-of-school time arts and humanities programs are encouraged to apply. Please click the following link to access the online National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Application: http://www.nahyp.org/how-to-apply/

Completed applications will only be accepted via the online process.
Monday, February 2, 2015, 5:00 PM PST is the application deadline.

New York State Survey on Core Arts Standards

NYSED, along with the five professional arts associations of New York State and the NYS Alliance for Arts Education have created a survey to reach out to NYS arts teachers and administrators for their input concerning potential adoption of the National Core Arts Standards, which were released in June. The survey will open September 15 and close on Monday, October 6. Participation in this survey will provide valuable feedback regarding P-12 Arts education in New York State. Access the survey at http://www.nysaae.org/ncas-survey/ external link icon.

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) launched the new National Core Art Standards website external link icon! The National Core Arts Standards are written by and for arts educators to support quality teaching and learning.

Since their initial publication in 1994, our nation’s first standards for arts education have guided improvements in the design, delivery, and assessment of arts education. Recent surveys of states and other nations reveal that education policy priorities as well as arts educators’ instructional resources and practices have evolved significantly during the two decades since. The new arts standards are designed to help arts educators and their students succeed by guiding the teachers through curriculum development, instruction, and assessment.

The new National Core Arts Standards were revised to emphasize collaboration and communication – key components of the 21st Century skill set desired by employers and higher education. The new Core Arts Standards also promote the development of Artistic Literacy in all five art forms, by empowering students to independently carry out four shared Artistic Processes: Creating, Performing/Producing/Presenting, Responding, and Connecting. These processes are articulated in eleven Anchor Standards that are also common across art forms.  

They also include a new, fifth artistic discipline, media arts along with the original four: dance, music, theatre and visual arts. The addition of media arts standards reflects a broadened definition of arts-making that includes contemporary forms such as animation, film, gaming or interactive- and computer-based art-making.

The new national arts standards were written by a broad coalition of stakeholders that joined together to develop standards in the context of the most current research in the field, including national and international developments in education. 71 writing team members and teachers from early childhood through higher education participated in the writing of the new arts standards. Twice in 2013 and once in 2014, a public call was put out to the field to provide feedback on drafts of the standards. More than 6,000 people provided input during the public review process.

The new National Core Art Standards are available at http://www.nationalartsstandards.org external link icon

To celebrate the launch of the NCAS website, the organizing coalition hosted a streaming webcast conversation with arts educators, artists and arts advocates on Wednesday June 4, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. To view the video archive of this free webinar, click here external link icon

For detailed information on how the standards were created and how they relate to the common core, please read the NCAS F.A.Q. external link icon

Until the Board of Regents renders a decision regarding new arts standards, arts curriculum implemented in New York State should be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts. These standards and the associated core curriculum
resource guides may be accessed online at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/arts/pubart.html

Opportunities to pilot Model Cornerstone Assessments in your classroom will be announced soon by your professional arts education association (NAEA, NAfME, NDEO, EdTA, etc.).

NYS Recipient announced for National GRAMMY Music Educator Award

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is pleased to announce that the recipient of the inaugural GRAMMY Music Educator Award is Kent Knappenberger. Knappenberger teaches grades 6-12 at Westfield (New York) Academy and Central School. He was one of more than 30,000 music teachers from throughout the United States who had been nominated. He was chosen from a group of 10 finalists, all of whom are or have been members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Knappenberger has been a music teacher and choir director at Westfield Academy and Central School for 25 years. He holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master's degree in music education, harp performance and literature from Eastman School of Music.

Announced 01/21/2014

Read more about Kent and see a video of him here external link icon

See Kent in action in this YouTube video external link icon

Learn how to nominate someone for 2016 here external link icon The deadline is March 15, 2015

College Board Arts Awards: Grades 6 -12

The College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts celebrates the achievements of arts initiatives for students in grades 6–12 that promote learning and creativity in exemplary and innovative ways. Awards will be given to model programs in three categories:

  1. Arts Integration: Recognizes initiatives that use an innovative approach to drawing connections between arts-based learning and other subjects.
  2. Equity Through Arts: Recognizes a program that uses the arts as a tool for increasing academic engagement among underserved students.
  3. Civic Engagement/Professional Partnerships: Recognizes a program that uses arts experiences as vehicles for engagement with local arts professionals and/or nonprofit organizations.

Within each of these three categories, one award in the amount of $5,000 will be given to winning schools to support the continuation and growth of their arts programs. Among the three winning schools, one will be named the national winner and will be awarded an additional $2,500.

The application deadline is April 4, 2014. Further details on award categories, full application instructions, and profiles of past winners can be found at: https://artsaward.collegeboard.org/ external link icon

State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) joins national arts and education organizations calling on policy makers and the public to re-examine support for quality arts education

The State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, in partnership with 12 national arts and education organizations, has released Arts Education for America's Students, a Shared Endeavor external link icon, a statement outlining the importance of high quality arts education and those responsible for providing it to students. A Shared Endeavor articulates the purpose and value of arts education in the balanced curriculum of all students, asserts its place as a core academic subject area, and details how sequential arts learning can be supported by rigorous national standards and assessments.


Public Review of the Draft PK-12 Core Arts Standards with Model Cornerstone Assessments will begin Feb. 14 PDF icon (32KB)

Please join the public review of drafts of the comprehensive PK-12 National Core Arts Standards for Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts beginning Feb.14, 2014. Standards drafts will be ready for the public to read prior to the review (anticipated Jan 30th). Watch for details and information at http://nccas.wikispaces.com external link icon. You can save your survey and come back to it multiple times until ready to submit.

SAT Scores and studies in the Arts - 2013 Report PDF icon (250KB)

This academic information includes National and New York State SAT Reasoning Test™ mean scores with breakdown by years of Arts study and course work. This information shows a general pattern that correlates more years of study in the Arts with higher SAT scores.

Last Updated: September 23, 2015