September 24, 2015
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has issued a call for high school arts educators to pilot the National Core Arts Standards Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) in theatre, dance, media arts, music, and visual arts during the 2015-2016 school year. The pilot, partially funded by a National Endowment for the Arts grant, follows a similar project conducted during 2014-2015, in which seventy-five arts educators piloted the MCAs in grades two, five, and eight. The 2015-2016 pilot teachers, working with the MCAs at the high school benchmark levels of Proficient, Accomplished, and Advanced, will put the example tasks on their feet, and assess students’ application of their knowledge and skills in authentic and relevant contexts.
In theatre, twelve to fifteen pilot educators will be selected, with an effort to achieve a balance of rural, suburban, and urban classroom settings across the country. Prior to the launch of the full project in January 2016, chosen teachers will be asked to pre-pilot one or more of three levels of assessment with small test populations of one to two students in November. Those selected will be asked to participate in online training; secure administrator approval of participation and permissions to share student work; pilot the assessments with their students; select student work, and upload appropriate images, audio, or video files that document student work.
James Palmarini, Educational Theatre Association director of educational policy and an NCCAS leadership member, called the high school assessment project an important next step for theatre programs seeking to align with the new National Core Theatre Standards released in 2014. “Having working educators try out the standards MCAs in their classrooms is a great opportunity for us to see how effectively the assessments create observable evidence of student learning in theatre,” he said. “With so many of our members working in high schools, I’m hoping that we’ll have a lot of applicants from throughout the country.”
Applications will be accepted through Wednesday October 21, 2015. Applicants must complete an online application form and forward a résumé or CV, along with a signed letter of permission from their principal or school administrator to the project manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. NCCAS will contact chosen applicants and announce selected pilot sites by November 5, 2015.