Final Public Review of NCCAS Arts Standards Underway



The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has launched a final public review of the draft PreK-12 arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The review will open on February 14, 2014, and will close February 28, on the coalition’s wiki page at

This third and concluding review reflects NCCAS’s ongoing commitment to a responsive and transparent strategy that allows adequate time for each arts discipline’s standards writing team to incorporate changes to the drafts suggested by reviewers, in preparation for a web-based release of the standards in June, 2014.  

According to Lynn Tuttle, director of arts education for the Arizona Department of Education, and an NCCAS Leadership member, the review incorporates significant updates to the standards structure and focus, based on comments received in two previous reviews and analysis by NCCAS leadership. “The feedback we received suggested a need for us to clarify some aspects of the drafts, particularly on how elements of Understanding by Design guide and undergird the performance standards.  Plus, we wanted our reviewers to focus on the standards themselves, and to consider how things like Process Components and Essential Questions are articulated in the standards’ supplemental instructional materials.”

To that end, the review’s downloadable Excel spreadsheets include eleven overarching anchor standards that align with all disciplines’ performance standards across four artistic processes—Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting. While the spreadsheet does not include all the standards’ Understanding by Design (UbD) format elements (Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions), they are part of the Model Cornerstone Assessment (MCA) examples that are also part of this review.   

NCCAS is the coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives that are developing the 2014 National Core Arts Standards. The new, voluntary grade-by-grade web-based standards are intended to affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum, support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, and help ensure that all students are college and career ready. The arts standards emphasize philosophical foundations, enduring understandings/essential questions, and anchor/performance standards, all of which are intended to guide the curriculum development and instructional practices that leads to arts literacy for all students.

To find out how to participate in review and to view all public documents related to the arts standards, visit



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