The Coalition on Coalitions (CoCs) supports NAMM members and their networks working on state-level music and arts education advocacy efforts. The Iowa network provides tactics, resources and best practices to move and improve state-level policies, funding and advocacy for music and arts education.
State Board of Education adopts new fine arts standards for Iowa schools
Members of the State Board of Education today adopted new fine arts standards for students in preschool through 12th grade. The board adopted, based on an Iowa’s team’s recommendation, the National Core Arts Standards, which are used in 22 states and were developed by an alliance of national arts and arts education groups. The standards are optional for Iowa schools.
Fine arts generally include visual arts, music, theater, dance and media arts.“Iowa students deserve a quality learning experience in all subjects, including fine arts,” said Charles Edwards, president of the State Board of Education. “Standards are a fundamental part of great instruction. The development of statewide standards will strengthen arts education in Iowa.”
Unlike Iowa’s required academic standards - which outline expectations for what students should know and be able to do in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and 21st-century skills – fine arts standards focus on artistic processes. Those processes include creating, responding, presenting and connecting.
Iowa educators have clamored for fine arts standards, said Ronda Sternhagen, a member of the Fine Arts Standards Adoption Team, which reviewed and recommended the new fine arts standards.“Well-designed courses and activities in fine arts teach students life skills in addition to the obvious technical skills and appreciation for the arts,” said Sternhagen, a visual arts teacher in Grundy Center and a visual arts consultant at Central Rivers Area Education Agency. “These fine arts standards will serve as a guide for Iowa educators as they develop curriculum, courses and classroom activities locally.”
The adoption team sought public input on the National Core Arts Standards through an online survey as well as public forums. A majority of comments expressed support for the standards, as well as their connections to careers, consistency, and rigor. The Fine Arts Standards Adoption Team recommended minor edits to the standards for clarity in the areas of general music and theater in its final report to the State Board of Education.
The Iowa Department of Education convened the fine arts team earlier this year in response to public support for offering statewide standards that go beyond the mandatory subject areas.
For more information on the Fine Arts Standards Adoption Team, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.
For more information on the National Core Arts Standards, link here.
NAMM Member Contacts
State Music & Arts Organizations
Coalition on Coalitions NAMM Member Resources
Coalition on Coalitions Dashboard, The CoCs dashboard on NAMM.org, serves as a nexus of information regarding specific state-focused music education advocacy efforts. The dashboard features a thumbnail summary of action alerts, status updates, NAMM Member contacts, and state-specific resources for active state coalitions in various stages of network.
Advocacy and Issue Training, Live and recorded webinars are available to connect, assist and advise NAMM members about current opportunities and ongoing state-specific efforts.
State Advocacy Opportunities, Regularly updated information regarding needed state-advocacy action. As an example: State education associations are holding “listening tours” across the U.S. in town hall-style meetings and/or they are accepting input by email or via web-based surveys. Action is needed now to ensure that every student in your state benefits from new opportunities in music education.
State Coalition Bootcamp at The 2017 NAMM Show, This half-day workshop was held on Tuesday January 17 and provided state coalition teams with hands-on advocacy training. Listen to audio files here:
- State Level Advocacy: What’s Happening and What’s Next. Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Audio recording.
- ESSA Update. Lynn Tuttle, NAfME. Audio Recording. Audio Recording.
- Advocacy at the Grassroots. Laurie Schell, Music Makes Us Nashville. Audio Recording.
Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The 2017 NAMM Show, This meeting was held on Friday, January 20 and provided an overview of current policy opportunities and updates on state activity featuring updates from NAMM Member state coalition leaders. Listen to audio files here:
- AFTA Resources and How to Advance Arts-friendly Policies in Education. Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Audio Recording.
- Federal Education Policy and ESSA. Lynn Tuttle, NAfME. Audio Recording.
- Policy Work at the Local Level. Laurie Schell, Music Makes Us Nashville. Audio Recording.
- Arts Education Partnership: Tools and Resources . Jane Best, Arts Education Partnership. Audio Recording.
Coalition on Coalitions at 2017 Summer NAMM, This meeting was held on Friday, July 14 and featured a panel discussion, national updates, and state team reports. Listen to audio files here:
- Chapter 1: Introduction by Mary Luehrsen
- Chapter 2: Advocacy in Action by Jeff Poulin
- Chapter 3: Policy Update by Michael Blakeslee
- Chapter 4: State Coalition Reports and Determinations
Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The 2018 NAMM Show, This meeting will be held on Friday January 26 and will provide an overview of current policy opportunities and updates on state activity featuring updates from NAMM Member state coalition leaders. Open to all NAMM Show attendees. RSVP link coming soon.
Americans for The Arts, Arts Services Directory for Iowa