A $46,100 Nebraska Arts Council grant will be used to help the state Education Department develop public school standards for visual and performing arts.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The department hopes to have the standards - which will cover dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts - finished by August 2014. The state previously has had only guidelines for arts education.
"We feel that this is the one area of curriculum where there hasn't been a standard," council executive director Suzanne Wise told the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/Pu0WWf ). "As studies show, having fine arts within the curriculum prepares students for the 21st century. They have to be creative. The arts teach you to be creative."
The plan for the standards will not include assessment tests such as those used for the core subjects of math, science, reading and writing.
"It's just good practice to have standards and a sense of direction in the state," said Donlynn Rice, administrator of curriculum, instruction and innovation at the Nebraska Education Department.
The standards would help schools assess what students are learning and would help arts organizations make their programs useful for schools and teachers. That's important, Wise said, because teachers are so focused on core subjects.
"It just helps make the connection between the arts organizations (and the schools)," Wise said.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com
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