Friday, September 21, 2012

Update on Core Arts Standards

In May, I first posted about the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. If you missed this post or are unfamiliar with the task force creating our Core Arts Standards, you may want to check out my post "Where's Our Common Core?"
The original timeline has been revised and has been posted on the NCCAS wikispace. I have copied this timeline below:


September 2011Hiring of Project Director
November 2011NCCAS establishes discipline writing team chairs 
December 2011NCCAS establishes discipline writing teams
January 2012NCCAS issues first draft of guiding framework
January 2012 - June 2012Initiate writing process with virtual meetings of writing teams
June 2012Face to face writing team meetings 
September 2012Writing team chairs meet face to face for inter-team sharing of work
November- December 2012First tier review of drafts with NCCAS Leadership and National Advisory Team Members 
January 2013Face to face writing team meetings.
Example Cornerstone Assessment Tasks ready to pilot. 
March 2013Rough drafts of standards ready for next tier review.
April 2013Reviewers’ comments compiled and shared with writing teams.
May 2013Writing teams refine work and continue developing cornerstone assessments for second pilot. 
June – August 2013Writing teams meet face to face to review results of cornerstone assessment task pilots. Standards are transferred to web based relational database.
September 2013Initiate phase 2 pilot, continue collecting student work, refining assessment and setting benchmarks. Continue website development as needed.

There is also a video of a live webcast from June addressing some questions from teachers. Here are a few highlights that caught my attention:

Grade-Specific Standards

The standards will be definitely be broken down by each grade level for Pre-K through 8th grade. Currently, our national standards are grouped by K-4, 5-8, etc. For high school, they will not be assigning certain standards for each grade level because of the nature of high school electives and scheduling. More information about this can be found on the NCCAS wikispace. 

Bloom's New Taxonomy

Bloom's New Taxonomy is being used by the writing teams when designing the standards. If you are not familiar with the changes to Bloom's, take a look at the diagram below:
Creating now appears at the very top of the pyramid. This is great news for arts educators! This means that students participating in music and creating art should be valued more than students answering multiple choice questions about art vocabulary terms.

Cornerstone Assessments

The video of the webcast discusses cornerstone assessments in more detail. Essentially, these assessments will be performance based and reflect processes in the arts rather than recalling information. The website will feature a database of sample assessments that teachers may search. Much of the database may be audio or visual examples One example discussed was an audio recordings of what a 4th grade singing voice should sound like. This sounds like a wonderful resource, but current timeline ends at September 2013 with no estimated deadline to finish this project. It may be awhile before we can even see the first drafts of the standards. There were a few still-shot pictures disclosed to the public of what the website database may look like. I posted these in my previous post "Where's Our Common Core?" If you missed that post, feel free to check it out.

I will continue to check the NCCAS wikispace periodically and update you all with any important updates that are released.

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