Arts Education Standards & Assessment Focus of NEA Roundtable and Webcast February 14, 2012 from 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM EST at

NEA releases report Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts - State of the Field and Recommendations in advance of webcast

Washington, DC -- The National Endowment for the Arts will host a webcast, Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment: A National Endowment for the Arts Research Roundtable on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM EST at No pre-registration is necessary; to watch the webcast,go to the NEA's website at the scheduled date and time. Also, the webcast will be recorded and archived at It will be available for viewing beginning February 21, 2012 on the Research Convenings page.

As the field of educational assessment advances, and as alternatives to standardized tests emerge, the tools used to evaluate student learning, such as portfolio reviews, are beginning to gain greater currency. Given this development, it is even more important to examine arts educational standards and assessment tools to ensure that arts learning can become a vital force for enhancing 21st -century skills. This is the first time that the NEA will take a comprehensive look at this issue via the roundtable, webcast, and new research report, Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement James H. Shelton III will open the roundtable. Following the welcome, a series of panels and presentations will examine the latest trends, current practices, and future directions for arts learning standards and assessment methods. An invited audience seated with the panelists will have the opportunity to ask questions. For those watching online who would like to submit questions, you can do so via Twitter with the hashtag #NEAartsed. Panelists will respond to key questions from online viewers on the NEA's Facebook page following the webcast. Visit the NEA's Facebook page beginning February 8, 2012 for "Meet the Moderators" posts in which the four moderators will respond to the question of why standards and assessment are important for a high-quality arts education.

Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations is available in advance of the roundtable on the NEA web site and will be the topic of the 11:15 roundtable session. Commissioned by the NEA from the evaluation firm WestEd, this national research report describes the current state of arts learning assessment tools and techniques. It provides a description of the current state of arts assessment from the perspective of two groups of stakeholders: district and school staff as one group, and policy-makers, arts organizations, and researchers as a second group. That report includes a literature review and an examination of stakeholders' experiences with assessment, common practices, and needs of the field as identified by stakeholders.  

The agenda below outlines the session and is subject to change. 

8:30am   Welcome and Goals of the Convening   

Rocco Landesman 
Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

James H. Shelton III
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education

8:45am   Panel 1: Greater Scope for the Arts Panelists will address whether and how the arts can drive innovations in K-12 education.   

Moderator: Sandra Ruppert, Arts Education Partnership

Panelists: Stuart Elliott, Board on Testing and Assessment, The National Academies; Mary Crovo, National Assessment Governing Board; Samuel Hoi, Otis College of Art and Design

9:45am   Panel 2: Arts Learning Standards for the 21st Century Panelists will discuss planned revisions to the national arts education standards, which seek to support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, help ensure that students are college-and career-ready, and affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum.   

Moderator: Tim Magner, Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Panelists: Philip E. Shepherd, National Coalition for Core Arts Standards; Nancy Rubino, College Board; Karol Gates, Colorado Department of Education

10:45am   Break
11:15am   Presentation: The Current State of Arts Learning Assessment: Findings from a Recent Study by the Arts Endowment This session reviews key findings from a study commissioned by the NEA and conducted by WestEd that describes the state of arts learning assessment in our nation's schools and arts organizations.   

Presenters: Daniel Beattie, National Endowment for the Arts; Patricia Moore Shaffer, NASA (formerly with National Endowment for the Arts)

12:00pm   Break
12:45pm   Panel 3: Innovative Practices in Arts Learning Assessment Panelists will address innovative tools and strategies in arts learning assessment in both community- and school-based settings.   

Moderator: Dennie Palmer Wolf, WolfBrown

Panelists: Jean Hendrickson, Oklahoma A+ School; Steve Seidel, Harvard University; Tom Cahill, Studio in a School; Francisco Núñez, Young People's Chorus of New York

1:45pm   Arts Learning Standards & Assessment: How Do We Shiftthe Paradigm? Following its national study of arts learning assessment, the Arts Endowment has taken several steps to heighten the role of student assessment in its grants portfolio. Yet more can be done; roundtable participants will be asked to propose ideas for moving the field forward.   

Facilitator: Jack Lew, Laguna College of Art and Design

2:45pm   Closing Comments   

Sunil Iyengar, National Endowment for the Arts, Office of Research & Analysis

3:00pm   Adjourn

Additional arts education resources available through the NEA, including Re-Investing in Arts Education: Winning America's Future, are accessible in the publications section of

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


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