Art Education to Have New Assessment Policy

Art education policies are a major topic at this weekend’s annual conference Kentucky Art Education Association in Lexington.. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

Last spring, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 1, which changed reforms enacted with the Kentucky Education Reform Act; it scrapped the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System or CATS.

Now, arts teachers are looking to the state for new policies that assure the arts a place in the K-12 curriculum. So says Judy Haynes, president of the Kentucky Art Education Association.

Haynes says educators will hear from Kentucky Department of Education officials Saturday about a program review it’s constructing to make sure art is taught and student performance is evaluated.

“I think the program review will help ensure our place in the educational system,” she says. “I think we have made some strides here, but I think we have some more to make.”

Haynes says many arts educators were not satisfied with the CATS test.

“We were assessing how well they understood vocabulary, how well they could write and address open-response questions,” she says. “And now, I think that performance will factor in as a key role in music, theater and dance —  and in the visual arts.”

Haynes says arts education was fairly strong in Kentucky already, but this new program review promises to improve it.

“In Kentucky, we are a leader in this area in the nation, and many of the states and national organizations are looking to us to see how this works,” she says.

Haynes says the DOE is expected to complete the review in November and pilot it in several schools beginning in January.