State Board Approves New Tennessee Fine Arts Standards

Friday, October 14, 2016 | 03:07pm

NASHVILLE – The State Board of Education voted unanimously on final reading to approve new, Tennessee-specific academic standards for fine arts.

A public review of the Fine Arts standards began in winter of 2016, which included the collection of stakeholder feedback as well as revision work by current Tennessee educators. The new K-12 Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts were then heard on first reading at the July 2016 State Board of Education meeting.

These rigorous standards set grade-specific goals for what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course. Tennessee requires visual art and music instruction for grades K-8 and one full credit of fine arts for high school graduation. Many students elect to focus concentration on sequential course offerings in multiple arts disciplines, including visual arts, dance, media arts, theater, and vocal and instrumental music.

“This has been a comprehensive and very exciting review process,” said Dr. Sara Heyburn, executive director of the State Board of Education. “The resulting standards are strong and will serve our students well, thanks to the commitment and engagement of so many Tennessee educators.”

In winter 2016, a committee of educators was selected to revise the Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts Education, which had been last reviewed in October 2010. This committee was composed of 31 current K-12 arts education teachers, district-level coordinators, curriculum and instructional specialists, and higher education faculty. The committee convened in early 2016 and finalized a first draft in April. From May 16, 2016 through June 3, 2016, the first draft of the new Fine Arts standards were posted to the State Board website and garnered public feedback from more than 100 reviewers. The resulting feedback was incorporated into the standards, producing draft standards finalized in October 2016.