For Americans for the Arts
Catherine Brandt Vacovsky
Americans for the Arts Joins National Coalition Revising the National Standards for Arts Education
Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network Will Help Drive Advocacy Efforts to Adopt Revised Standards in all 50 States
Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, has joined the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) leadership team revising the national voluntary learning standards for dance, music, theatre, visual arts and media arts for grades preK-12. In addition, Americans for the Arts will assume a leadership role in advocating for all 50 states to adopt the standards.
“As America’s education system moves toward increased accountability measures, it is imperative that the arts have current standards as well as assessment and evaluation models that can inform best practice for teaching and learning,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “If we don’t update the standards to meet the needs of current educational priorities, the arts risk being marginalized in American schools, limiting our young people’s access and opportunity to a full and balanced education.”
When the standards were drafted in 1994, Americans for the Arts led the initial advocacy effort in all 50 states to adopt them . The organization will collaborate with NCCAS leadership in a similar capacity, this time activating its State Arts Action Network—which consists of arts education leaders in all 50 states—to drive state-level advocacy efforts to endorse, adopt and adapt the 2014 National Core Arts Standards as the recognized model of quality arts education throughout the United States.
“I am excited to continue our work to advance arts education in state policy and further strengthen the arts as a strategy in the education reform efforts taking place across the country,” noted Lynch.
Lynn Tuttle, President of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) and an NCCAS leadership team member, said she was delighted that Americans for the Arts has become a partner in the standards project. “NCCAS is thrilled that Americans for the Arts has joined the coalition. Their support is an important boost to the new standards’ credibility and will strengthen our effort to gain widespread endorsement and adoption in the states.”
Americans for the Arts is the latest organization to join the broad coalition of stakeholders developing the new standards. The group hopes to create a product that will reflect and encompass the most current research in the arts education field, national and international developments in education, and policy directions, including Common Core State Standards and the drive to develop 21st century skills. Other NCCAS leadership organizations include the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, The College Board, National Art Education Organization, National Dance Education Association, Educational Theatre Association, National Association for Music Education, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, Young Audiences and designated representatives for media arts.
The new standards will be released in March, 2014. A review of the draft K-8 standards was completed in July; NCCAS will be issuing a call for public review of the draft high school standards on September 30. Interested individuals should visit the coalition’s website at nccas.wikispaces.com or the NCCAS Facebook page at facebook.com/NationalCoalitionForCoreArtsStandards to learn how they can participate in the review process, and for other information about the project.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
NCCAS, a coalition of national arts and education organizations and other representatives, is committed to developing a next generation of voluntary, researched-based arts education standards that will build on the foundation created by the 1994 standards (and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts), support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, help ensure that all students are college and career ready, and affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum.