Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Arts Education for the 21st Century: A Bold Proposal

A January 2015 "vision paper" from Kentucky's arts education organizations argues for major new steps to "ensure that all students have access to a high quality arts education; one that truly supports developing students’ artistic talents and abilities as mandated by Senate Bill 1."

In addition to supporting adoption of the National Core Arts Standards, the paper provides detailed recommendations around three major goals:
  • Protect time for discipline-specific, standards-based arts instruction
  • Provide for high quality specialized arts teachers to deliver visual and performing arts instruction 
  • Ensure that statutory, regulatory, and KDE terminology supports high-quality arts education 
The paper provides concrete evidence that arts teaching and learning have been eroded significantly in recent years, and offers this blunt statement about our current accountability approach:
"Improving arts education in Kentucky will call for more than Program Reviews, because the reviews currently lack rigor due to of a lack of statutory and regulatory support, have limited, questionable reliability because they are self-reported, utilize a rubric that is subject to wide interpretation in the hands of non-arts specialists, and lack an auditing process to encourage and ensure honest appraisal."
The Kentucky Coalition for Arts Education issued the paper and a briefer brochure on the same ideas.  The Coalition includes the Kentucky Art Education Association, the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the Kentucky Music Educators Association, and the Kentucky Theatre Association.  I'm looking forward to seeing this discussion develop!

--Posted by Susan Perkins Weston

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