What an exciting time for arts education! New York State is in the process of developing a new strategic arts education plan, which they have recently released the draft of entitled: New York State (NYS) Statewide Strategic Plan for the Arts. This will serve as a guide to advance the NYS P-12 Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual and Media Arts Learning Standards. This is huge as it signifies the state’s commitment to the arts as part of a well rounded education.
The development of this strategic plan has been done through a collaborative effort by the NYS Coalition of Arts Education Associations. This consists of leaders and members of the New York State Art Teachers Association, New York State Dance Education Association, New York State Education Department, New York State Media Arts Teachers Association, New York State School Music Association, and the New York State Theatre Education Association. The mission of the coalition is: To focus the statewide learning community on strengthening and enhancing arts education so that all students graduate as artistically literate citizens, ready for college and career(s) and poised to participate in the global economy through lifetime engagement. It is the hope that all students will have access to learning in the arts with sequential standards-based curricula along with quality resources, and support for the community at large.
This strategic plan consists of four main components:
The coalition is looking to adopt a new set of NYS P-12 Learning standards for the arts. This will be done collectively by determining the core arts content, anchor standards, discipline-specific standards, and conceptual understandings.
The goal is to provide teachers with opportunities to reflect on current/new research and learn best practices in the field. It is also their hope to build capacity to provide these services and increase the use of technology in the classroom. It is also key to develop assessments (both formative and summative) to measure student achievement to enhance and empower both teachers and students alike.
Materials and Resource Support
In an effort to have access to quality materials and resources, they encourage schools to create and sustain thriving partnerships with arts and cultural organization. There are so many resources at the many arts organizations throughout the state and it is of huge value to the schools to take advantage of what they have to offer. It provides students with authentic artistic experiences. It is another goal to provide access to cost-effective instructional materials.
Administrative and Community Support
In order to develop students who are life-long learners and prepped for career readiness, we must leverage both fiscal and human resources. We can have these great ideas, but if we don’t have the resources to manage and sustain them, our efforts are futile. We also need to address the PR issue of the value of the arts in education and raise the bar for its existence.
The goal is to have the new set of standards written for spring 2017, leading into the transition phase for the academic year (AY) 2017-18, and full implementation for AY 2019-2020.
How can you be involved in the process? There are two very simple things you can do: