February 10, 2012
Contact: Cory Wilkerson

The College Board releases two research reports to support
next generation of National Standards for Arts Education
College Board Releases 2 Reports 2-10-12.pdf

The College Board, in partnership with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), has released two new research reports designed to support the revision of the National Arts Education Standards.

The College Board, an NCCAS member, has now conducted five research projects for the coalition’s Next Generation Arts Standards Project. NCCAS is committed to developing a next generation of voluntary, researched-based arts education standards that will build on the foundation created by the 1994 document (and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts), support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, help ensure that all students are college and career ready, and affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum.

A Review of Selected State Arts Standards examines the recently revised arts education standards (in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) of eight states and districts; reviews media arts standards in four states or districts; and analyzes possible links between the new National Arts Education Standards and the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math.
Child Development and Arts Education: A review of Current Research and Best Practices is a literature review that analyzes research linking arts-based learning and human development, including physical and cognitive growth and academic skills such as long-term memory, reading, creative thinking, and writing fluency. The study also includes research on the social and emotional impact of arts participation.

A Review of Selected State Arts Standards looks at the revised arts standards of seven states and one district in the United States: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City (which also included the discipline area of “moving image.”), North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. All of the states surveyed have revised their arts standards within the last four years. The researchers sought to identify, compare, and contrast the organizational structure of each state’s standards, and the guiding philosophies or ideas that were most influential in shaping their overall content and standards. The second part of the report focuses on the relatively new arts form of media arts, offering definitions, examples of best practice, and standards structure and organization in four states/districts: Los Angeles Unified School District, Minnesota, New York City, and South Carolina. Among other things, the media arts review addresses how each state/district defines its standards regarding artistic perception/process, literacy, technology, and interdisciplinary learning. The last part of the study, created by the College Boards office of Standards and Curriculum Alignment, highlight portions of the Common Core State Standards in ELA and Math that may provide natural connections to arts-based standards and practices. The report was prepared by Christine Cassidy and Amy Charleroy, The College Board, New York; Mark Dzula and Ardina Greco, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.

Child Development and Arts Education is divided into four literature reviews that address the arts disciplines of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. The reviews are further divided by grade band (early childhood, elementary, middle, high school, and college) each of which includes information on both general and discipline-specific developmental characteristics of students. The report also features a series of specific pedagogical practices that address social, emotional, and/or cognitive needs and abilities of students in each discipline and grade band. The report was prepared by College Board researcher Amy Charleroy; Jo A.G. Frederiksen, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York; Amy Jensen, Ph.D, Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City; Stacey McKenna, Ed.D, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore; and Alison Thomas, Ph.D, 92nd Street Y School of Music, New York.

To find out more about the College Board’s education initiatives go to ****.

Dr. Nancy Rubino, Senior Director in the College Board’s Office of Academic Initiatives, and a member of NCCAS’s leadership team, said the Child Development and Arts Education study strongly demonstrated the impact of arts participation on student learning and development. “It is clear from the research we conducted in support of the Next Generation Arts Standards Project that learning through the arts provides the type of emotional, creative and expressive development that students can benefit from throughout their lives. If we as a nation are serious about building a road to success for every student we must include the arts in curricular planning from the elementary through college levels.”

Dr. Rubino, along with NCCAS Project Manager Philip E. Shepherd, will participate in a panel—“Arts Learning Standards for the 21st Century”—as part of the National Endowment for the Arts forum, Improving Arts Learning through Standards and Assessment, on February 14 in Washington, D.C. The forum will explore opportunities at the federal, state, and local level to implement arts-learning standards, high-quality assessment tools, and professional development in their use. The forum, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., will be streamed live. For more information, go to ****.
NCCAS continues to work towards finalizing the writing strategy for the new arts standards. The coalition most recently met in Reston, Virginia, January 23-24 at the office of the College Board, where the leadership and chairs came to a consensus agreement on an Overarching Framework that will guide the writing of the new standards across all disciplines.
To view the Overarching Framework and all five of the research reports done by the College Board on behalf of NCCAS, visit the coalition’s wiki at ****.