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New school arts standards offered
Groups update from 1994 guidelines shouldnt affect state right away
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A national coalition is adjusting education standards in the arts, but adoption of the potential changes doesn’t now seem to be on the state’s radar.

“As far as skills go, they appear to be fairly similar,” Gainesville City Schools Director of Standards and Assessment Sarah Bell said. “However, the draft standards seem to be more specific and give a little more guidance to teachers.”

Led by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards through the National Art Education Association, the new standards have been almost three years in the making. This is the first time they’ve been revised since 1994.

According to Hall County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Eloise Barron, the state has its own set of standards with “input from outside sources.”

“I am not sure what years we developed and then revised the standards, but they are Georgia standards,” she said. “We did not adopt any total set of outside standards.”

The state website at states the Georgia standards are independent but based on those from 1994. The documents on the website for dance, music, theater arts and visual arts were updated in 2008-09, with the Georgia Board of Education approving them in 2010.

“We are not planning to review (or) revise the standards at this time,” state Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said about the proposed standards.

“When and if they revamp their standards, Georgia may or may not decide to incorporate the revisions into the state’s standards,” Barron said. “As you know, we do not have Common Core standards in art as we do in mathematics and English language arts.”

Common Core standards were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010; adoption of the standards wasn’t mandatory, but the federal government created an incentive by tying adoption to earning a grant through the Race to the Top program, created in 2009 as part of the economic stimulus package.

At this point, it’s still uncertain whether the state will adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, finalized in April 2013. Georgia was one of the 26 states with people developing the standards, but has yet to adopt them formally into classrooms.

The new national draft standards in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts are open for public review online, at

They outline where students should be per year from prekindergarten through 12th grade. For example, a pre-K music student should be able to “explore through performance a variety of music that represents specific interests or purpose” by chanting, moving, singing or playing.

By second grade, that student should be able to “improvise patterns and ideas ...” and “generate musical patterns and ideas within the context of a given tonality and/or meter.”

After reviewing the standards, surveys on each set are open to the public via the same website through March 1.

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