- Over the last four years, the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment Project has developed lessons in dance, music, theater and visual arts, as well as assessments to go along with them.
- District Administration reports the instructional materials are in line with the Every Student Succeeds Act’s focus on a well-rounded education for students, and they are all available online with links to state and national standards with which they are aligned.
- The website has model arts lessons for students of all ages, links to research and recommendations, a Blueprint of a Quality Arts Education Program, and webinars and other professional learning resources for teachers.
Arts education may get a boost in the shift from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act. As schools are capitalizing on the benefits of social emotional learning, research about the benefits to students of access to a well-rounded curriculum may get a second wind. Since No Child Left Behind mandated school accountability based on standardized tests in math and reading, that is where teachers and administrators prioritized their time. Arts and physical education teachers were cut in many districts facing budget holes as schools doubled down on the tested subjects.
Now more schools recognize their responsibilities to educate students in a more holistic way than standardized tests might require. Along with academic skills, schools should be helping students foster the soft skills they’ll need to succeed in work and life and help them develop healthy habits that will last them through adulthood.