Since January of 2003 Washington State has developed and refined arts assessments for dance, music, theatre and visual arts. These classroom-based performance assessments have been administered in our district, giving us the ability to measure what our students know and are able to do at grades 5, 8 and 10 (high school). They inform arts teachers of their instructional strengths and limitations, and impact the assessment system with an alternative means to measure student learning. Our district’s arts specialists use these assessments:
- To build capacity and leadership in arts assessment development and implementation of the state’s Arts Learning Standards as a means to improve teaching and learning the arts for all students;
- To understand the powerful learning opportunities that the connections of “arts for arts sake,” integrated arts, and arts across and within all content areas bring to each school, classroom, and student;
- To understand and promote the arts as a means to enhance school reform, close the achievement gap, raise achievement for all learners, and provide for the basic needs and democratic rights of all students to experience quality arts instruction from teachers who can teach all students the arts;
- To be aware of and address the issues of race, ethnicity, cultural diversity, and equity in education for all students through the arts; and
- To provide all teachers the means and information to allow them to teach the arts with confidence, skill, understanding, and passion.
For more information about the classroom-based performance assessments in the arts go to the arts page at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education’s website.