The World Wide Web had yet to go mainstream. No eBay, no YouTube, no Amazon, no iPod. Apple was in the computer business, Google was not even a dream. Musical tones were generated from electric boxes with cords and plugs. Desktop music making was more concept than reality. Mashing was for potatoes. Hip Hop was called Rap. A Bush was in the White House (41) and the battle over inclusion of the arts as a core subject was in full force. No Child Left Behind – not yet. Email – just starting to become a business tool. Weblogs, streaming audio, streaming video? Nada. Classroom keyboard labs? Research connecting music and how kids may learn? None of these activities existed.
This is the backdrop on a period in time -1992. This is when the National Standards for Arts Education were being developed - fourteen years ago. They were formally released to the U.S. Secretary of Education in March of 1994. Twelve years ago. In the time since most states have used these standards to develop their own state-level benchmarks for what every child should know and be able to do in music, dance theater and the visual arts. In many states these frameworks have been revised since original adoption. A few are on their THIRD review.
The National Standards for Arts Education did exactly what they were supposed to do… provide the framework for states and local school districts to use as the “National” source of what we expect our children to learn when engaged with the arts. The document, and the many, many people who contributed to their development, have served the community well… until now.
San Francisco's ambitious arts education master plan has been released to much well deserved fanfare. Antigone Trimis, the Arts Education Master Plan Implementation Manager for the SFUSD, penned this thoughtful article on what all this means for the cities students.
For those involved in arts education and school reform reading this article, and reviewing the plan will be time well spent!
On September 28, 2006, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Interim Superintendent Gwen Chan announced the completion of San Francisco Unified School District's (SFUSD) Arts Education Master Plan and the commencement of its implementation in San Francisco's public schools. This historic partnership between the district and the City was made vivid with the launch of the Master Plan at San Francisco's Performing Arts Library and Museum (SFPALM), a local gem of an institution where San Francisco's performing arts history comes alive through a multiplicity of exhibits, performances and educational programs.