The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has released its PreK-8 draft standards for an online public review through July 15.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to participate in the public review of one or more of the discipline grade-band drafts in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The draft PreK-8 standards are available on the NCCAS website, along with detailed instructions on how to provide input.

The Kentucky General Assembly, as part of Senate Bill 1 (2009), mandated new academic standards in all subjects including arts and humanities and directed the Kentucky Department of Education in cooperation with the Council on Postsecondary Education to consider standards that have been adopted by national content advisory groups and professional education consortia.

NCCAS is the coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives that are developing the 2014 National Core Arts Standards. NCCAS standards chairs from each of the five arts disciplines and Project Director Philip Shepherd, Kentucky musician and arts educator, have been working with national writing teams in Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts to create the grade-level standards. Dr. Robyn Swanson, a professor of music education at Western Kentucky University is a member of the music writing team.

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 “big ideas,” philosophical foundations, enduring understandings/essential questions, and anchor/performance standards, all of which are intended to guide the curriculum development and instructional practices at the local level that leads to arts literacy for all students.

The NCCAS standards writing teams are currently working on drafts of the high school (9-12) standards; an invitational review of the high school work will occur in September. A public review of the comprehensive draft PreK-12 standards, including model cornerstone assessments, will begin in January 2014.

The current project timeline includes a release date of March 2014, for the complete and finished standards. The Kentucky Board of Education would then consider adoption.

For the most current information about the project, visit http://nccas.wikispaces.comor the NCCAS Facebook page at