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Lesson Plans

RE: state assessments

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sears, Ellen (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:16:30 -0400

Kentucky has included the arts and humanities in the state assessments
KERA (the Kentucky Education Reform Act) and KIRIS (the state
assessment) has been here for several years, and is now going under
reform itself.

Aside from the usual complaints associated with change, I appreciated
both. Specifically for art... and for me...

Art time used to be 60 minutes for grades 1-5, and 6 weeks of art of
middle school. This year our younger grades had 40 minutes a week.
About the same for music. And we don't have dance or theater teachers.
Our arts and humanities scores have been very low (our school was
usually the leader on standardized tests, and we are very high on the
KIRIS scores too... but you must show a certain percentage of
improvement over two years, we missed by 0.3 points... we were labeled a
school in decline, and were serviced by a 'distinguished educator'.
Being in decline created lots of paperwork, and restructuring of many
things. It can be a very stressful process... but I believe that we (as
a school) definitely had room for imporvement. We were riding on a
reputation, and assumed we were already good enough.)

It has been a good thing though. The state assessment helped to
highlight the fact that the students needed more exposure to the arts
(we are a very arts friendly community, but appreciating it and
doing/understanding content is another thing). Many schools around here
are requiring more of regular classroom teachers as far as inclusion of
the arts. Accountability for all.

As for our school... We will be hiring a part time art teacher next
year. At the very least each elementary student will have 60 minutes
of art, some more (asessment year - 5th grade). Middle school students
will go from 6 weeks to a trimester. Teachers are required to
incorporate the core content into the regular classroom.... etc.

Kentucky now requires, I think, a credit in the preforming or visual
arts for graduating seniors.

Assessment in art has been a good thing. But it didn't happen right
away. And for my school it was longer, because we assuming we were at
the top. Other schools across the state were much more aggresive.

Good luck,

> ----------
> From: Barry Teghtmeyer
> Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 1998 1:50 PM
> To:
> Subject: state assessments
> At a district elementary teachers meeting, it was brought out that
> our state (Missouri) was scheduled to add the arts state assessment to
> the list of tests given on an elementary level.
> The rumor is that the tests will be project assessments and will
> include the areas of dance, music, visual art and theater.
> At this time, on the elementary level, most schools in the state do
> not have specialists in dance or theater. The tests are scheduled for
> the 1999-2000 school year.
> My question is...Are there any elementary teachers that work in a
> state wherein similar testing is in place? If so,
> what was your impression? What did you feel were the pros and cons of
> the tests and finally what did you do to
> prepare students to be successful?
> thanks...Barry from North K.C.