Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Arrowhead Middle School selected for National Arts Assessment pilot project

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has chosen Arrowhead Middle School to be a part of its Model Cornerstone Assessment Pilot Project.

Partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) are a component of the new National Core Arts Standards.

They were developed to demonstrate the type of standards-based evidence needed to show student achievement in the arts – dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts. Arrowhead will complete a pilot assessment in theatre.

More than 260 schools and teachers applied to participate in the pilot. Approximately 15-18 pilot sites were chosen for each discipline. The sites were chosen based on the strength of their application, the teacher’s credentials and experience, and the support of the school’s administration.

Additionally, as part of the selection process, the professional arts service organizations and members of the NCCAS Media Arts leadership committee considered how to best create a diverse cross section of urban, suburban, and rural schools from across the nation.

William Brame, theatre teacher at Arrowhead, applied to be a part of the pilot because he wanted his students to have a voice in how the performing arts are delivered to them and others.

“I think the kids at Arrowhead are a great model for what young people are capable of when given the opportunity. It is also fun to show off what our kids can do,” Brame said.

Through the pilot, Arrowhead students will have access to the latest research in performing arts assessments. It also will help support literacy in the theater classroom by providing high quality model units and demonstrating how they enable critical thinking in students.

Brame will begin professional development training in the Core Arts Standards and the MCAs this month, in order to prepare him to pilot the tasks in his classrooms in February.

Student work will be collected and bench-marked during the summer for archiving on the NCCAS website.

Individuals and organizations interested in the project can follow the work or obtain more details as it unfolds, including a list of the states participating by geographic region, on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards wiki at http://nccas.wikispaces.com.