Archive for June 4th, 2014


National Party!

June 4, 2014

NCAS today

Earlier today I attended the announcement webinar for the new National Core Arts Standards. It was informative and an opportunity to hear from a variety of arts leaders from across the country. Even our own Maine Arts Commission director Julie Richard was a guest on the webinar. She eloquently stated the role of the state arts agency’s now that the new standards are complete.

So, what next you might be thinking/asking?! Well, this is my suggestion… go to the National Core Arts Standards new website at that JUST went live this afternoon at 4:30 and check them out. Look closely at what the standards have to offer.

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Gorham Middle School art teacher Amy Cousins, Brunswick High School art teacher Jennie Driscoll, and Woodside Elementary School art teacher Brian McPherson

Perhaps your school/district is discussing standards, curriculum, proficiency, assessment and your head is swimming with all that you have to think about. I suggest that you join us at the New England Summit on Arts Education, July 29-31 at USM, Portland, to help figure out what your role and responsibility is. You can attend alone or with a team from your district, build on your knowledge so you can return to your school with a plan on how to proceed. To learn more and to register please go to The summit is happening because of feedback from Maine arts teachers asking for an extended learning opportunity from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. If you have questions please contact me at

And, what’s next with Visual and Performing Arts standards in Maine? Good question. Recently I asked Kevin Facer, the VPA specialist at the Maine Department of Education that question, and this is the information he provided:

The new NCAS standards present an exciting approach to arts teaching and learning. As schools plan for the future they should keep the following in mind.

  1. MLR’s are still in effect as state standards
  2. Graduates to 2018 will need to demonstrate proficiency to MLR standards

The rulemaking process to adopt new standards requires public hearings and a vote of the Legislature.  At this present time, the timeline to start any rulemaking to adopt new visual and performing arts standards is unknown.

  1. Teachers can use the NCCAS standards locally to enhance/augment current MLR’s. As you know, curriculum including textbooks, lessons, teaching methods – is entirely controlled at the local level.

Use caution on a full commitment to new standards before everything is in place to go ahead.

If you have questions please contact Kevin at


Music Education

June 4, 2014

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