State Superintendent Signs New Arts Learning Standards

Compose a song using Dorian mode. Create an advertising campaign for a product for sale. Draw a scene from a movie that show a character’s actions or emotions. All are suggested activities for students to demonstrate their understanding of the state’s new arts standards.

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 the standards were formally adopted by State Superintendent Chris Reykdal in a ceremony at Elk Plain School of Choice (Bethel School District) in Spanaway. Deb Merle, Gov. Jay Inslee’s Senior Policy Advisor, was in attendance.

“Education involves the whole child,” Reykdal said. “The arts are a part of that. They engage all learning styles, and they lead to powerful and life-long habits, such as creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. The arts provide our students with keys to understanding the world around them and strategies for learning, interpreting, and expressing their thoughts. I’m excited to see the kinds of artists our students may become.”

The standards include five disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts.

For each discipline, the standards are arranged under four artistic processes: creating, performing/presenting/producing, responding, and connecting. Each standard also contains suggestions and examples of tasks students can perform to demonstrate proficiency.

The standards incorporate the National Core Arts Standards with added content developed by K–12 educators. The educators developed suggestions for students and examples to accompany the standards, which provide more specificity and practical ideas for demonstrating the knowledge and skills indicated.

The adoption process for the standards followed that of other learning standards. After a panel of statewide experts created a draft, the public was invited to comment. Finally, a bias and sensitivity review ensured that the standards are culturally sensitive and relevant.

The first set of Washington standards in the arts were published in 2011 and last updated in 2014.

Read the new arts standards here.

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