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Re: [teacherartexchange] Is there a push for Standardized Visual Art Tests?

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From: M. Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 21 2007 - 16:57:13 PST


First, I am not a proponent of standardized testing, mainly because it would
diminish that which we all value about the visual arts - the creative side.
Standardized testing mandates that the topic be answered with strict
definitions that can be filled out with bubble tests, OR with strict
guidelines (as in the state writing assessment). However, if it were a state
tested subject that directly affected state funding then I guarantee that
all districts would ensure that they supplied whatever was needed to insure
students have adequate test scores.

I am the district chair for our NCA accreditation. With NCLB, the state of
Kansas had mandated that all students will score proficient or above in
reading, writing, and math. My district has made Standard of Excellence in
all three subjects at all grade levels for the past 3 years. However, this
has come at the cost of what was previously considered "core" subjects:
science and social studies. Kansas has finally figured this out and is going
to begin testing science and s.studies, and my district is now refocusing to
get students ready to take these new tests (don't forget that we can't even
figure out where we stand on evolution! - Woody, what what that signature
line you used to use? *L*) My point is: if it is tested AND if it ties to
funding, then the arts will have a secure spot in the curriculum. However,
we need to be careful what we choose - ever since Kansas made having one
credit in the fine arts I have ended up with every student who doesn't want
to take a performing arts class, my classes are larger, and the overall
quality of work has suffered. Thank goodness for those kids who love
creating and take my class because they want to be there!
~Michal
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
http://www.geocities.com/theartkids

> The topic of standardized visual art tests came up on TAB list. I
> found some information on line that spoke of the dangers of a
> standardized art test. I am personally opposed to a standardized
> visual art test - for many reasons. The primary reason is that we
> don't have "standardized art instruction" (all students do not have
> equal art instruction time) - many students do not have art in
> elementary and many students do not have visual art in middle school
> now (in Ohio).

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