To build on the Arts Education Partnership’s (AEP) work of aiding states in including the arts as they craft plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), AEP, along with its collaborators Americans for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, convened approximately 140 arts in education leaders last Saturday for the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium. One of AEP’s two major events of the year, the State Policy Symposium offers attendees the opportunity to delve into the major issues and questions facing the arts in state education policy today.
Highlights from the symposium included:
- Michael Petrilli, President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Commission of the States Distinguished Senior Fellow, delivered a keynote focused on the future of education reform in the U.S. and potential opportunities for engaging the arts to address emerging issues
- Two plenary conversations explored how to navigate the shifting political landscape and strategies to leverage federal education funding for the arts in education.
- Four workshops centered on the priority areas of the AEP 2020 Action Agenda and addressed how states and communities are incorporating the arts into state accountability systems, teacher and school leader training, afterschool programs and building diversity in leadership.
In conjunction with the State Policy Symposium, AEP also released the ArtScan at a Glance: Connecting the States and Arts Education Policy, formerly the AEP State of the States. Designed as a summary of ArtScan – AEP’s online database of state arts education policies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C) – this updated resource is a quick guide to state-level policy around the arts in education. Highlights from the 2017 update include:
- Forty-nine states and D.C. have K-12 arts standards. Since 2014, 14 of those states adopted new or revised standards aligned with the National Core Arts Standards.
- The number of states including the arts in their definition of core or academic subjects increased from 27 to 29 in 2016.
- Vermont joined Minnesota and Louisiana as the only three states to include media arts in state policy around high school education requirements. In addition, Vermont is the only state to require learning in media arts across all K-12 grades.
To learn more about this day of thought-provoking sessions and hear about how the arts can impact state education policy, follow the Twitter conversation at #AEPSPS17 and subscribe to the ArtsEd Digest, AEP’s biweekly newsletter of arts in education news, events and research. Make sure to also check out our report ESSA: Mapping opportunities for the arts which explores many ways you can incorporate the arts in your state’s ESSA plans.