Posts Tagged ‘cornerstone assessments’



January 22, 2016

High school Model Cornerstone Assessment Pilot Project launches

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 2.51.29 PMJanuary 20, 2016

Contact: Cory Wilkerson
Tel: 800-587-6814

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has completed the selection of schools and teachers for the High School Model Cornerstone Assessment Pilot Project. The project is partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs), a component of the 2014 National Core Arts Standards, were created at the benchmark grades of 2, 5, 8 and the three high school levels (proficient, accomplished, advanced) to demonstrate the type of standards-based evidence needed to show student achievement. In 2015, NCCAS completed the field testing of the elementary and middle school MCAs, and will be posting benchmarked examples of student work gathered as part of that project on the standards website.

For the high school project, NCCAS received applications from more than 120 schools and teachers to participate in the project focusing on MCAs in dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts. Between 10 to 15 pilot sites were chosen for each discipline. The professional arts service organizations and members of the NCCAS Media Arts leadership committee made the choices based on a careful review of applicants, with the goal of creating a diverse cross section of urban, suburban, and rural schools from across the nation.

Participating educators began professional development training in the Core Arts Standards and the MCAs this month, in order to prepare them to pilot the tasks in their classrooms February through May.  Student work will be collected and benchmarked during the summer for archiving on the standards website.

Individuals and organizations interested in the project can follow the work or obtain more details as it unfolds, including a list of the states participating by geographic region, on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards wiki at


National Core Arts Standards

August 7, 2015

Volunteer to contribute

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 10.42.15 PMModel Cornerstone Assessments help bring the Standards into focus. National Association for Music Education did initial piloting of these Assessments in the Spring of 2015, and we’re expanding that pilot in the Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016.

Teachers who pilot test these assessments learn deeply about the Standards and contribute greatly to the field. Request a part in the essential work of piloting assessments by going here.

Teachers in all areas of music are welcome, but we’re particularly looking for teachers in:
8th grade general music
Alternative ensembles
Composition and Theory
Music Technology
Harmonizing Instruments

Volunteer to take part now!


National Arts Standards Update

August 25, 2012

Writing teams work on EUs, EQs, CAs

Earlier this summer the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) writing teams met in the Washington D.C. area to continue their work on the writing of the the national standards. They discussed the Enduring Understandings (EU), Enduring Questions (EQ), and Cornerstone Assessments (CA).

This was their first meeting face to face since they started the work electronically. This meeting with the leadership team of the NCCAS was possible  thanks to the generosity of the states, national arts education organizations (NAfME, NAEA, NDEO, AATE, EdTA), and the  partners at the College Board.

You can view (and hear) the highlights of the work on the NCCAS wiki at:

The site has a document that is updated periodically with questions and answers. Here are a couple:

  1. Are there continued efforts to understand where the arts are already in alignment with the Common Core State Standards? I would imagine I would be interested in knowing this for the purpose of articulating the possible standards for Arts Integration techniques.  If so are there efforts to articulate how Arts Integration techniques can help meet the CC standards as well as to understand where arts and creativity processes are cognitively parallel to skills and tasks that are laid out in Common Core?                                                                  Project Director Phil Shepherd: Yes there are continual efforts to make connections to the Common Core. Not only do we have some research conducted by the College Board, but as the work continues comparisons are brought forward in each of the writing teams.
  2. How does this document address the important process of creative thinking? This is the leading characteristic CEO’s say they are looking for in a 21st employee. The learning of this process I believe could be one of those elements that could connect all the art forms. The creative thinking process can be taught, but are we teaching it in K-12 schools? Rarely have I seen it specifically addressed in my 35 years of art public school teaching. So….If not in this domain, where? Project Director Phil Shepherd: A goal established by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is to bring creativity to the forefront. Alignment with the 21st Century Skills framework is a part of the process. The College Board has done research to support this effort as well and our writers have reviewed that research. Additional work has been done to review creative practices and provide an overview of how those practices play out in the artistic processes.

You can keep up with developments on the new national standards by checking the NCCAS wiki site at:


Update on National Standards

July 16, 2012

Writing teams met

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) writing teams met (in person for the first time) in Reston, Virginia, June 19-22. The teams include dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. They gathered along with the leadership team of the NCCAS and had an intense productive four days.

The website to learn more is at where you will find video clips of team members providing information on the work. The meeting featured a live video broadcast session entitled Embedding Enduring Understandings, Essential Questions and Cornerstone Assessments into the new Core Arts Standards. You can view the recording of the session and learn more about the details of the development of the standards document.

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