Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Rubino’


Common Core and the ARTS

February 6, 2013

College Board Releases Common Core Study

I have received emails in the recent months from visual and performing arts teachers who have said they have been asked to do work with the Common Core State Standards (CCCSS) for English/language Arts and math.

Most of you know that the National Core Arts Standards Conceptual Framework was released on January 14, 2013. The College Board has been part of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards and has provided several research components that supports the work.

Late last week, Amy Charleroy of the College Board announced that the Common Core alignment study is complete.  The work, entitled A Review of Connections between The Common Core State Standards and The Next Generation Arts Standards  may be downloaded at

Dr. Nancy Rubino, of the College Board, discusses Common Core connections in the Conceptual Framework roll out presentation, also housed on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards wikispace. The presentation and PowerPoint may be found at:

These studies can provide answers to your questions and valuable information that can help with the curriculum work you are doing at the local level.


What a Week!

October 9, 2012

Some weeks are crazy

Last week was filled with adventures! I started the week in Washington D.C. at the Arts Education Advisory Group (AEAG) meeting. They are part of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASSA) which is made up of the state arts commissions including the Maine Arts Commission. Every year the AEAG plans a professional development institute (PDI) for the arts in education associates at the state arts commissions which includes Meagan Mattingly. I am the representative to AEAG for my national professional organization called State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) which is comprised of the arts education specialists from the Departments of Education. I had a chance to be with AEAG at the opening of their PDI. It was wonderful to meet people who are committed to arts education in each state. Not to mention they are interesting, knowledgeable, creative, and FUN! The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are affiliated with the AEAG and NASSA since funding is provided by the NEA. Consequently, there were a handful of staff from the NEA who are responsible for arts education who attended as well. In attendance was Ayanna N. Hudson, the NEA Director of Arts Education. She agreed to write a blog post for meartsed that will explain the programs/funding that is available for teachers, schools and communities. This will provide an overview to help you learn what is available. One of the evening highlights was the opportunity to see the performance of the DC Youth Slam Team. They were INCREDIBLE!

Next my travels took me to Reston, VA where SEADAE met with the chairs of the National Arts Standards writing teams and the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards leadership team. The writing teams are moving along with their work in spite of the little funding that has been provided. The most recent draft of the framework was shared by Co-Chairs, Marcia McCaffrey and NH DOE arts specialist and Lynn Tuttle, AZ arts specialist and president of SEADAE. The writing teams have taken the first draft with the components including Disciplines, Essential Questions, Enduring Understandings, Artistic Processes, Cornerstone Assessments, and re-arranged the direction of the document to make it  more user friendly. The work was shown to us on the website where the document will be housed so we could also see the work that has been done on the site. It will include a “quick view” button for finding stuff in a hurry, the use of tagging and keywords, and links to other works. All of this will be important aspects since it will be a web based document. You can view some of the ideas that are being considered at this link.

We had a discussion on what to call the final document so if you have any suggestions please email them and I can pass them along. The document will be arranged by grade level, PreK-8 but the high school format is still under discussion. You can read more about the format by clicking here.

At this point the expected date for the release of the “framework” will be in December. The first draft of the standards document which includes Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts will be within a few months after that, perhaps in March. Most likely the cornerstone assessments will be included when the standards draft comes out at grades 2, 5, and 8. The format will require feedback on the standards and the “userness” of the website.

Nancy Rubino from the College Board reported on recent research that looks at the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math (CCSS) and the National Standards for the Arts. The research looks at the overlapping components of the CCSS and the arts frameworks and where the arts references are present in the CCSS. For example the research includes tells us that there are 26 ELA standards that have references to reading a work of drama. Looking closely at “college level learning” in the arts has been included in the research. The research will be released as soon as the final framework is determined and I am sure you will find it helpful. The College Board has done other research which I have mentioned in past blog posts and you can find links to this valuable information on the right side of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards wiki.

The end of the day included the live stream from the meeting to provide an overview of the event. If you weren’t available or couldn’t get on since the system was full I understand that it will be archived on the site in the near future.

I flew back to Maine early on Thursday morning and headed to Point Lookout in Northport where the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) teacher leaders and leadership team met that night and all day Friday. We worked on the Depository for arts education resources in Maine located at and continued plans for the Mega-regional workshops to be held throughout the 2012-13 school year. On Friday the teacher leaders from phase 2 presented their workshops so they could gather feedback on their sessions to determine if they’d like to tweak anything before taking their session on the road for the regional workshops. The regional workshop sessions will be posted on the Department arts assessment page in the next two weeks so you can see what is available. The energy and expertise of their topics was inspirational and truly amazing. I was reminded of how fortunate we are in Maine to have such outstanding arts educators who are willing to share information and expand their horizons to become teacher leaders in the arts. I am sure when the Cornerstone Assessments are released from the national standards work that Maine will be ready to take on the task of reviewing them to provide feedback that will inform the nation.

Needless to say when the week ended on Friday evening I was exhausted! However, I am extremely proud of the work that arts educators are doing throughout the state and urge you to continue to read and stay abreast of the opportunities that are offered. If you have questions or comments on any of this please feel free to email me at or post a comment at the bottom of this post.

MAAI arts educators fall workshop


National Endowment for the Arts Webcast

February 21, 2012

Arts Education Standards & Assessment Focus of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Roundtable and Webcast

On Valentine’s Day the NEA held an all-day webcast that was very interesting and engaging. The panels scheduled throughout the day shared relevant information to arts education. Many of the points made and the information shared about standards and assessment, Maine is either involved with doing or it is on our radar to explore or to put in place.

A recording of the entire day is scheduled to be available starting today, February 21, 2012 at this link At this link you can download the report (listed as National studey of arts educadtional assessment tools and strategies) NEA had released prior to the webcast: Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts – State of the Field and Recommendations. Also available is the agenda for the day, and information about the individuals who participated on the panels.

The following is information that provides an overview of what occurred during the day.

As the field of educational assessment advances, and as alternatives to standardized tests emerge, the tools used to evaluate student learning, such as portfolio reviews, are beginning to gain greater currency. Given this development, it is even more important to examine arts educational standards and assessment tools to ensure that arts learning can become a vital force for enhancing 21st -century skills. This is the first time that the NEA has taken a comprehensive look at this issue via the roundtable, webcast, and new research report, Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement James H. Shelton III opened the roundtable. Following the welcome, a series of panels and presentations examined the latest trends, current practices, and future directions for arts learning standards and assessment methods.

Commissioned by the NEA from the evaluation firm WestEd, this national research report describes the current state of arts learning assessment tools and techniques. It provides a description of the current state of arts assessment from the perspective of two groups of stakeholders: district and school staff as one group, and policy-makers, arts organizations, and researchers as a second group. That report includes a literature review and an examination of stakeholders’ experiences with assessment, common practices, and needs of the field as identified by stakeholders.

Below are some of the quotes that I found that resonate with the work we are doing in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative:

  • Stuart Elliott (Director, Board on Testing and Assessment (BOTA) of the National Research Council): “Standards don’t make a difference, implementation does“.
  • Sammy Hoi (Otis College of Art and Design): “Three keys: 1) Understand change 2) Shift from goods to services and 3) Readiness to solve problems
  • Dennie Palmer Wolf (Wolf/Brown Associates) : “When we talk about the arts we need to look at the long haul as well. Cultural change takes a fairly long time.”
  • Phil Shephard (Project Manager, National Core Arts Standards): “The National Core Arts Standards will include a web-based environment with teacher practice examples, student portfolios, and the ability to make changes to the document so it won’t become stagnant.”
  • Nancy Rubino (College Board): “The research we did for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards including the review of arts standards from 15 countries – research structures, learning outcomes, guiding principals, and where possible assessment strategies. Noteworthy was learning outcomes that featured students connections to other avenues. China art and emotion and art and culture and art and science.  Also, attitudes and values, connect the arts to real learning contexts”.
  • Unknown: “Arts ed is prepared to lead the way when it comes to educational reform.”

I hope you will download the WestEd report to learn how it can inform your communication and decision-making at the local level around teaching, learning and assessment in the arts.

I don’t recall who said this but I do love it: CCO – Chief Creative Officer – Arts Teachers!

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