What are the Common Core State Standards?
The Common Core State Standards “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn” in mathematics and English language arts. The standards enumerate the knowledge and skills that students should learn, but they do not prescribe how teachers should teach. Currently, 46 states have adopted the standards. For more information, visit the Common Core State Standards website and read this article by McTighe and Wiggins.
How might the Common Core State Standards impact music educators?
Since the Common Core State Standards only include mathematics and English language arts, they will not directly impact music educators. However, the standards do include references to the arts and artistic processes (see, for example, ELA Standards pages 31, 33, 38, 49, and 57). Music educators may wish to draw on these references in their classrooms and connect to the work of their colleagues. A webinar entitled “The Common Core State Standards and Its Implications for the Arts” is available for download here.
What about the national music standards?
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has writing teams who are revising the national standards in the four arts disciplines: dance, music, theatre, and visual art. They are also creating standards for a fifth discipline, media arts. The writers of the National Music Standards are utilizing the Common Core State Standards as a model for their work. (For more information, see Scott Shuler’s segment of this webinar.) More information about the progress of the writing teams is available here.