Posts Tagged ‘standards’

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NCAS High School Review

September 13, 2013

Get ready to provide your feedback

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 8.21.00 PMOpportunity to review draft high school National Core Arts Standards September 30 – October 21

In June 2013 Maine had arts educators participate in the public review of draft PreK-8 national arts standards in dance, music, visual arts, theatre, and media arts.

On September 30 2013 draft high school arts standards in dance, music, visual arts, theatre, and media arts will be posted for public review. The time window for reviewers to respond ends on October 21. If interested in participating, mark September 30 on your calendar, and – when the date arrives – go to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) wiki site to complete your review.

(Note: The draft high school music standards that will be released on September 30 will be for secondary ensembles. Draft standards for additional music course sequences – including harmonizing instruments (guitar/keyboard) and composition/theory – will be released later.)

In the meantime, check the NCCAS wiki site regularly to read the framework and review the webinars, documents, and links posted there that contain information about the new standards.

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Another Arts Teachers’ Story: Alice Sullivan

March 27, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an arts educator

This is the second in a series of blog posts telling arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read their stories and to learn from others. This post features Alice Sullivan who has been teaching music for 27 years. Alice is one of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s Teacher Leaders, Phase I, and represents the region of Washington County.

Alice is currently teaching, grades K-12, at Woodland Jr. Sr. High School, Woodland Elementary School and Princeton Elementary School. She has been there for 6 years teaching 200 students, band program grades 4-12, some classroom music K-4 and junior high general music, digital arts class and music theory at the high school, and one small elementary chorus.

What do you like best about being a music/art/drama/dance educator?

I really like the opportunity to use my organizational skills in an environment where I can also be creative. The music room is a great place to find a balance between hard and fast standards and finding numerous ways of meeting those standards. Twenty seven years of concerts with no two being the same, but every year I strive to provide every student with the same well rounded music education.

Tell me what you think are three keys to ANY successful arts ed program?

  •  a commitment to stretching the limits (your own and those around you)
  • a belief that what you do is important
  • enough confidence in your skills to take risks

What specific way(s) do your assessment practices tie into the success of your program?

Developing solid assessment practices sends the message to those around you that you believe your program is valuable and worthy of reflection. This instills a sense of importance in your students and as a result they strive to reach higher goals. I often say to my students – “who wants to belong to the good enough club”? An assessment is a tangible way for my students to prove the level they have attained, to themselves and others.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

There have been so many benefits to being part of the arts assessment initiative. The first that comes to mind is the great opportunity to network with other educators. It has also helped to keep assessment practices foremost in my daily teaching. With so many things to do each week, priorities become a necessity. Having weekly connections through the arts initiative wiki has ensured that assessments make my priority list.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I’ve always believed that music is a gift that all students can and should receive. My classes have always been available to all students. I’m most proud of the moments when the reluctant musicians realized they did have musical talent.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

SLEEP!

Apple or PC?

Both – depends on the job I want to get done.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Exceptional concerts are a reflection of hard work and determination. A good performance is often attributed to talent or “good” students. I believe even very young and inexperienced performers can present quality programs with hard work and determination.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Enjoy what you do. Focus on the positive forces in your environment and link arms with those who also have a positive outlook.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would travel. I want to see the world and share those experiences with the people around me.

This is a link to the wiki that Alice created that includes her marvelous resources: https://meaningfulassessments.wikispaces.com/. If you have comments or questions for Alice please put them in the “comment” section below.

Thank you Alice for telling your story!

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Department News Release

March 21, 2012

Bowen lauds Ed Committee vote on teacher effectiveness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Contact:   David Connerty-Marin, 207-624-6880/831-3313

The Legislature’s Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon in favor of LD 1858, a bill that would require schools to adopt teacher and principal evaluation systems.

“Of all the education bills this session, this one has the potential to positively impact education more than any other,” Bowen said. “The bill goes to the very heart of what we know has the greatest impact on learning: the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. The best curriculum and learning materials in the world are of no use to us unless we have effective educators in our schools. Supporting great teaching and school leadership is what this bill is all about.”

The Education Committee has supported efforts to promote improved standards for students and now follows suit with clearer standards for teachers. The Maine Department of Education will work with many groups to develop guidelines and standards for evaluation systems, but the systems themselves will be developed or adopted at the local level.

“I appreciate the give and take with the Maine Education Association and legislators,” Bowen said. “It made this bill better by underscoring its true purpose – to improve the ways in which we prepare, support, and evaluate teachers.”

The committee approved LD 1865, which enhances career and technical education, by a 10-1 vote earlier this week. Both bills are part of Gov. Paul LePage’s education agenda and will likely go before the full Legislature in the next week or two.

Two more bills are part of the Administration’s agenda. One deals with public and private school choice options, the other with allowing funding for religious schools.  Those measures will be discussed by the committee on Thursday.

Information about all four bills, including links to the bill language and the commissioner’s testimony, can be found online at http://www.maine.gov/doe/first.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Rob Westerberg

March 20, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an arts educator

This is the first in a series of blog posts telling arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read their stories and to learn from others. The first one is featuring Rob Westerberg who is one of the recipients of the first presented Carol Trimble Award for outstanding contributions to arts education. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Rob at rwesterberg@yorkschools.org and/or put your comments at the bottom of the post. Please let me know if this series “Another Arts teachers’ story” will be helpful to you by emailing me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

All-State conference, UMaine, 2010

All-State conference, UMaine, 2010

Rob Westerberg is a High School Choral & General Music teacher who has taught for 24 years, the last 12 at York High School. He averages between 175 and 250 students per year covering several choirs, Vocal Auditions Class, Music History & Music Theory I and II. He is well respected by colleagues in New England for his enthusiasm and commitment to excellence in arts education! He has been a member of the Leadership Team for the Maine Arts Assesment Initiative and a member of the three person team who created the plan for the initiative.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

Waking up every day and being excited about going to work. Really!

Tell me what you think are three keys to ANY successful arts ed program?

1) getting the school and community to “unlearn the irrelevant” about the arts, 2) establishing the arts as “essential” ACADEMIC instruction, 3) building connections with other arts educators outside of your district to invigorate and reinforce your work.

What specific way(s) do your assessment practices tie into the success of your program?

They show the concrete parallels to assessment in other academic areas (reinforcing and demonstrating our academic status), they focus and enhance student achievement, and they help me to continuously evaluate and revise my curriculum and instructional practices.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

I have grown more in the last two years as a professional than the previous ten combined. Every interaction I’ve had with others as a component of the Initiative has driven me to want to be better at what I do, and has provided a foundation on which to build my assessment practices in ways I always wanted to but could never fully wrap my arms around.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Establishing a graduation requirement specifically for music (performing arts) and specifically for art (visual arts) at two of the three schools I have taught at. 100% of our graduates display genuine proficiency in the fundamental MLR standards of both subject areas through rigorous coursework, truly fulfilling a global vision of arts education for all.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

“Getting SO wrapped up in working through, over or under the various brick walls that always seem to be standing in front of me (in front of ALL of us!!!) that I easily forget how much I love teaching to begin with… and not drawing from that reservoir of passion and excitement more often.”

Apple or PC?

Apple

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

The music resources that we have access to at YHS can often be perceived as being due to being in a “wealthy” community. 75% of those resources (which does not include a functional auditorium) were not around 12 years ago and had to be fought for tooth and nail. We can empathize with anyone’s battle of having to fight for more resources in the arts.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Connect with other arts educators CONSTANTLY… in your 1st year or 41st year, all the best ideas for building and developing your program are already out there, and it’s your colleagues who have those ideas ready to share with you! Go get them!!!!

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I’d pay off my mortgage and then live off of the rest so I could just spend every single day of every single school year visiting arts educators across northern New England and working with them on curriculum and assessment development for their own programs I’d also buy an awful lot of Terra Cotta Butternut Squash Pasta

York High School music programs webpage: www.yorkschools.org/yhs/music

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Media Arts Writing Team

March 17, 2012

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   

Contact: Cory Wilkerson, 800-587-6814                             

NCCAS adds media arts writing team to Next Generation Arts Standards Project

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards has agreed to support the writing of national, voluntary media arts standards as part of the Next Generation Arts Standards Project. Recognizing the growing interest and diversity of media arts as a new mode of expression within public education, NCCAS has formed a team of media arts writers and leadership to lead the work. NCCAS is committed to creating re-envisioned voluntary, web-based arts standards that will build on the 1994 National Arts Standards (and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts), that have helped guide curriculum designers, pre-professional training programs, funders, and federal and state policy makers in their PreK-12 decision making. NCCAS leadership is relying on the media arts writing team to create a set of standards that will be equal in rigor, breadth, and depth as those of those of dance, music, theatre and visual arts, while simultaneously recognizing that media arts will be embedded within each of the traditional forms as a pathway for knowing and understanding. Currently, media arts standards are included in the state standards of Minnesota, South Carolina, and in the district standards of New York City and Los Angeles. The writing team will use the research report, A Review of Selected State Arts Standards, to help guide them in their work. The report, one of five created in support of the project by NCCAS member the College Board, is available as a PDF at  http://nccas.wikispaces.com/State+and+Media+Arts+Standards.

“Our goal is to write media arts standards that will fully describe expectations for student learning in an art form that has the ability to serve as the nexus between the arts and other subjects in the curriculum,” said Pamela Paulson, senior director of policy at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Minnesota and one of two new NCCAS leadership members chosen to represent the area of media arts in the coalition of eight arts and education organizations. Richard Burrows, retired director of Los Angeles Unified School District’s nationally recognized arts education effort, and now an independent strategist, will serve as the other media arts leadership member.  He commented, “Media Arts plays a pivotal role in putting a strong, versatile and creative culture at the heart of contemporary learning in today’s education for young minds, and is beautifully positioned to make artistic meaning in bold new ways on behalf of the arts.”

Randy Nelson, the head of the education department of cutting-edge film maker DreamWorks Animation, and John Hughes, president and founder of Rhythm & Hues Studios (a leading producer of computer-generated animation and visual effects) praised the inclusion of media arts as its own subject area within arts education. “This is a visionary and forward thinking path for arts education,” said Nelson. “Artists who get technology, technologists who get art, managers who are creative and creatives who can manage are our future. Fail to include the full spectrum of skills, fail to treat media arts education as anything but a full partner, and get ready to find an explanation even a child can understand about why the rainbow is missing half its colors, and one for business people about why we are losing jobs to more colorful competitors.”

Said Hughes: “Media arts is relevant to today’s students because it reflects our contemporary, global culture. It provides vehicles for all students to find success and enjoyment in learning and promotes critical thinking processes while engaging, real world activities that make the content more meaningful.”

The Media Arts Writing Team Members are:

  • Dain Olsen, Chair, ArtLAB High School, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Jay Davis, Ambassador School of Global Leadership, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Steven Goodman, Educational Video Center, New York City
  • Scot Hockman, South Carolina Department of Education, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Jeremy Holien, Perpich Center for Arts Education, Golden Valley, Minnesota
  • Anne Kornfeld, Newcomers High School, Long Island, New York
  • Colleen Macklin, Parsons New School for Design, Brooklyn, New York
  • Bradley Moss, Maple Mountain High School, Springville, Utah
  • Michele Nelson, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Betsy Newman, South Carolina ETV, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Martin Rayala, Ph.D, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
  • James Reinhard, North Allegheny Schools, Wexford, Pennsylvania
  • Evan Tobias, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

NCCAS Leadership and the team chairs met most recently in Reston, Virginia, in the offices of the College Board to finalize work on a learning framework that will guide all five writing teams and to refine the project’s timeline. Writing teams are currently in the first stages of creating drafts. In the coming months, NCCAS will issue a new call for reviewers who will take the first pass over the new standards. For more information about NCCAS and the Next Generation Arts Standards Project, go to http://nccas.wikispaces.com.

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Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment

February 6, 2012

National Endowment for the Arts Research Roundtable

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will host a webcast, “Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment:  A National Endowment for the Arts Research Roundtable,” on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET at www.arts.gov

No preregistration is necessary. To watch the webcast, go to the NEA website at the scheduled date and time. Also, the webcast will be recorded and archived at arts.gov. It will be available for viewing beginning February 21, 2012, on the Research/Convenings page.

Questions? Contact Victoria Hutter, hutterv@arts.gov, 202-682-5692.

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