1. For those looking for the obligatory introductory substantiations for the arts in education, search Google and insert your own here: ___________. At the same time, you might want to search on research by Ellen Winner.
2. For those who need to read that the arts are a core subject, you just did.
3. For those frustrated about the state of the arts in K–12, persevere.
Here are my five ramblings. Don’t be confused by the three above. Congratulations, you’ve just passed your first math test for today!
1. Don’t bet too much on the promise of Common Core-aligned new arts standards.
A lot of people I know are amped up about the prospect of new arts standards inspired by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) and math. The idea is that the new arts standards, if positioned to reinforce CCSS, will benefit from the monumental machine behind CCSS. Unfortunately, the volume on this amp does not go to eleven.
Yes, we do need new arts standards desperately, particularly considering how stale most of the state arts standards have become. New standards done right will go a long way to align standards with current practice, recognizing the changed world of the arts, rather than establishing standards based upon a wish, like certified arts teachers in every classroom (or school). The arts have changed in so very many ways since the bulk of the arts standards were last written, so let’s make sure the new standards reflect the 21st century. (Hint: think hybrids.)
That being said, the Common Core State Standards are in ELA and math, while veering into some other domains (history/social studies) like shoots from a tree. The CCSS in ELA and math have been cemented into a newly poured foundation of the educational industrial complex and are wired through the White House, state departments of education, the philanthropic sector, school districts, higher education, corporations, and teacher and administrator unions, while being on the tip of the tongues of millions of educators around the nation. Read the rest of this entry »