Overview of Benchmarking of Piloted Student Work in Elementaryclick here to view the Elementary Pilot overview

In the spring of 2015, teachers representing diverse arts classrooms across the nation piloted the new National Core Arts Standards using the draft Model Cornerstone Assessments created by the writing teams. Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the pilot produced close to 6000 student artworks. These artworks were submitted to NCCAS by the piloting teachers and scored in a benchmarking process during the months of June and July 2015 by teams of five teachers in each discipline; with the goal of identifying 20 works per discipline deemed meeting standard, to serve as benchmarked models of the National Core Arts Standards in use within curriculum and instruction. Click on the link below to download a brief summary of the elementary MCA pilot and benchmarking process complete with highlights of the important take-aways gleaned.project executive summary


Dr. F. Robert Sabol, one of the assessment experts working with the MCA Pilot & Benchmarking project, speaks to the impact of the work both on the piloting teachers and the teams of benchmarkers.

Dr. F. Robert Sabol from Cory Wilkerson on Vimeo.

Dr. Pam Paulson Speaks to Media Arts Educators on the significance of the work to Media Arts from Cory Wilkerson on Vimeo.


Click on the link above to access additional video snippets in which benchmarking teachers tell the story of the projects benefits and challenges in their own words and demonstrate the process in action.


The brief video below explains the process of benchmarking; or adjudicating student work with groups of teachers in order to come to a shared understanding and agreement on student work that demonstrates proficiency.

NCCAS Benchmarking Student Artwork from Cory Wilkerson on Vimeo.

MCA's, or Model Cornerstone Assessments, are performance assessments linked to the new national core arts standards. Click on the link above to access and download a definition of an MCA. This excerpt from National Core Arts Standards: A Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning defines model cornerstone assessments and describes their use. (Used by permission of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards.)

2014-2015 MCA Benchmarking Project Assessment Consultants
Dr. F. Robert Sabol,Purdue University
Dr. Scott Shuler, National Association for Music Education Past President
Dr. Pam Paulson, Perpich Center for the Arts
Susan McGreevy-Nichols, Executive Director, National Dance Education Organization

2014-2015 MCA Benchmarking Facilitators
Susan McGreevy-Nichols, Dance
Dr. Pam Paulson & Cory Wilkerson, Media Arts
Dr. Scott Shuler & Richard Wells, Music
Jim Palmarini, Theatre
Dr. F. Robert Sabol, Visual Arts