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Board of Regents adopts new Arts Standards

During its September 2017 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents approved new learning standards for the arts (dance, music, theater, visual and media arts). This is the first update of arts standards since 1996.

The 2017-18 school year will be used as a transition year to introduce the new standards and to provide professional development to educators.

Full implementation will take place in the 2018-19 school year.

Here are the highlights:

  • The 2017 New York State P-12 New York State Learning Standards for the Arts were developed to help students grow into artistically literate citizens.
  • The standards outline skills and knowledge students need to acquire as they move through their school careers; they are not a prescribed curriculum.
  • The new standards recognize five arts disciplines: dance, music, theater, visual arts and media arts. Under the previous arts standards, four disciplines were recognized (media arts were a subset under the broader visual arts category).
  • The following four processes are common across all disciplines:
    • Creating – students generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
    • Performing/presenting/producing – students analyze, interpret and select artistic work for presentation.
    • Responding – students interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
    • Connecting – students synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
  • Also different under the new arts standards: The skills and knowledge students should acquire are outlined by grade level, rather than by bands of grades as they were arranged previously.
  • The new standards are the result of a seven-year collaborative process that included various stakeholders in arts, as well as parents and the general public.

Find at-a-glance documents and other state resources about the new standards 

Download the Board of Regents Memo about the new arts standards (PDF)