Many Arts Educators Satisfied with Senate Bill 1

by ekramer on March 16, 2009

Many arts educators are satisfied with the Kentucky General Assembly’s move to end the current state education testing system, even though it means scrapping testing in the arts and humanities. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Throughout the current General Assembly, arts educators have worried that scrapping the Commonwealth Accountably Testing System or CATS could undermine the teaching of the arts and humanities. Many now say they like what they see in Senate Bill 1 that passed on Friday.

The legislation stipulates that districts and the Department of Education regularly review arts and humanities programs, which educators say could strengthen arts education more than testing did.

One is Kentucky Music Educators President Tanya Bromley. She also says educators were pleased with how legislators considered their concerns.

“What’s encouraging this year with this whole process is that a lot of stakeholders have been brought in, in order to get it right,” Bromley says.

Tanya Bromley says the legislation is farily detailed about how the reviews should work so that information from them can hold schools accountable for properly teaching the arts.

“It is clearly something that will be meaningful in terms of evaluating programs, creating and performing arts activities in the classroom, and creating a situation where that program evaluation can also be used to help schools identify areas where they need to improve in their arts programs,” she says.

She says she’s educators have some expierences that make her believe the review process will be effective.

“It is a program review that the Kentucky Department of Education will be in charge of developing. And based on the pilot that they did with 20 elementary schools on a program review this past year, I think there’s a lot of potential there,” she says.

The bill now goes to Gov. Steve Beshear who could sign it into law by the end of the month.

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