Model Cornerstone Assessment Pilot Overview

click here to skip to details of the Benchmarking phase of the projectclick here to go to a summary of lessons learnedclick here to skip to data summaries and evaluation toolsstudent work samples available at

From July 2014 through December of 2015, thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the partner organizations of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards piloted Model Cornerstone Assessment tasks aligned to the newly released national core arts standards in 47 states across the nation. Seventy seven arts educators volunteered their time and their classrooms for the pilot. An additional 25 educators spent the summer of 2015 adjudicating the over 3000 pieces of student work generated to ultimately produce 263 examples of student work and visual arts portfolios housed on the national core arts standards website at

Emerging from the pilot was a set of protocols for assessing student work in the arts. A step by step process which includes:
- teaching to pre-established model cornerstone assessments; units of suggested instruction aligned to standards with embedded assessment models created by and for arts educators
- creating online communities of learners to support teachers, establish sharing and communications and meet needs for professional development
- collecting student work scored by the teachers as meeting standard from diverse classrooms across the nation through a process of online uploading to secure sites
- forming small teams of five educators for each discipline as benchmarkers who would be asked to visit the uploaded student work and rescore
- convening the benchmarking teams face to face to review work for which they could not reach consensus in order to finalize the adjudicating process, increase inter-rater reliability and produce benchmarked samples of student work aligned with model cornerstone assessments and national core arts standards at grades 2, 5 and 8

click here for archived training sessions and documents

2014 Model Cornerstone Pilot Sites Represent the Following StatesAlabama - Arkansas - Arizona - California - ColoradoDelaware - Florida - Georgia - Iowa - IdahoIllinois - Kansas - Kentucky - Massachusetts - MarylandMichigan - Mississippi - Nebraska - New Hampshire - New JerseyNew Mexico - New York - Ohio - Pennsylvania - TexasUtah - Virginia - Washington - Wisconsin - West Virginia
RegionallyNew England - 12%Mid Atlantic - 21%Southern - 16%Mid Western & Middle America - 26%Western - 10%Pacific - 15%
Type of ClassroomRural - 13%Small Village - 16%Suburban - 33%Urban - 38%
We gratefully acknowledge our piloting teachers
in conjunction with a National Association for Music Education Research Project piloting Music MCA's representing the following states
Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming

Type of Classroom
Rural - 18%
Small Village - 28%
Suburban - 43%
Urban - 30%

Click here to view a PowerPoint presentation describing the project and the benchmarking protocols.