New State Arts Education Curricula Set for Public Comment

On February 12, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to release for public comment an updated set of guidelines for arts education in Massachusetts schools.

As stated in the Arts Curriculum Frameworks draft, the arts are an important component of a well-rounded education because they encourage collaboration, flexibility, concentration, and focus. Skills learned through arts education are necessary for future careers that will demand creativity and empathy as much as they require computation and engineering.

“An arts-rich education not only supports future professional success, it prepares young people for leadership in their communities and civic lives,” said Matt Wilson, MASSCreative’s Executive Director, who testified at the February 12th Board Meeting

The curriculum came out of a coordinated process which included Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) staff members, 75 art teachers and arts educator specialists, and the DESE Arts Education Advisory Council members. This group contributed over 500 hours of their time as well as discipline-specific expertise to come up with the plan. The curricula guideline review, the first in nearly 20 years, works to align the statewide standards to the current national guidelines.

For the past two years, MASSCreative and the statewide Arts for All Coalition have been working to encourage DESE to make increased access and participation in quality arts education a priority.

MASSCreative will provide its members with an analysis of the draft and the opportunities to comment of the new curricula over the coming weeks.



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