NCCAS Launches Standards Writer Application Process, Hires Project Director, Names Writing Team Chairs

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards next generation arts standards project is moving forward. NCCAS has launched the online application process, hired a project director, and named writing chairs for the four content areas of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.

NCCAS is committed to developing a next generation of voluntary arts education standards that will build on the foundations created by the 1994 National Arts Standards and, more recently, the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts, to help guide curriculum designers, teacher training programs, funders, and federal and state policy makers in their Pre-K-14 arts education decision-making. For more information about NCCAS and the arts standards project go to NCCAS.

The coalition is seeking teams of 10 content experts for each of the discipline areas of dance, music, theatre and visual arts to help develop the next generation of voluntary arts standards. Each discipline writing team will include a balance of members across specific areas of expertise, geography, diversity and experience. Individuals interested in serving on a writing committee can apply at here.

The application process will close October 27, 2011.

Writers will be chosen by the NCCAS discipline organizations from the pool of applicants.

The writing process of the new standards will be led by recently hired Project Director Phillip E. Shepherd, an independent arts education consultant based in Lexington, Kentucky. Shepherd is a former Kentucky Department of Education Arts and Humanities Consultant who served on the National Expectations for Arts Education committee that helped initiate the next generation arts standards project. He was also a data committee member of State Education Agencies Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), a partnering NCCAS organization.

Shepherd, a long-time arts educator who has worked across many disciplines in the creation of curriculum, assessment models, and applications of new technology, is enthusiastic about the next generation arts standards project. “We have a real opportunity to do something extraordinary. The most important thing, of course, is the difference new arts standards will make to students and teachers in this country. I believe that they will be critical to guiding schools and educators toward a new model of arts instruction that aligns with the needs of the 21st century American educational system. If we expect our teachers to teach and our students to truly learn, we need standards reflecting classroom practice and new modes of learning that will make our students highly competitive in the world economy.”

Shepherd’s writing chairs will help guide the teams in the creation of the new arts standards, with the expectation that the work will begin in earnest in the next few months. NCCAS leadership will release the new voluntary standards in late 2012. Chairs, chosen by the NCCAS discipline organizations, were picked to lead the writing groups based on their range of experience, commitment, and leadership in their given content areas. They are:

  • Dance—Rima Faber, President, Capitol Region Educators of Dance Organization, and Founding President, National Dance Education Organization.
  • Music—Scott Shuler, Arts Consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education and President, National Association for Music Education; and Richard Wells, Simsbury (CT) Public Schools and Music Chair for Connecticut Common Arts Assessment Project.
  • Theatre—Rachel Evans, Assistant Professor of Theatre Education and Theatre Education Coordinator, Kean University, Union, NJ.
  • Visual Arts—Dennis Inhulsen, President-elect, National Art Education Association and Principal of Patterson Elementary School, Holly, Michigan.

The NCCAS leadership will be meeting in Phoenix November 1-2 to begin vetting the writer applications and finalizing the project’s conceptual framework and resource documents.
For more information, contact Cory Wilkerson at 800-587-6814 or visit NCCAS.