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Arts in Education Standards, Curriculum and Assessment

To view an updated and expanded ArtScan (2014) please visit the ArtScan website, a project of the Arts Education Partnership.

This Artscan database report provides links to state arts standards and identifies states that consider the arts an academic or core subject (through statute or code). The report also highlights state policies that require state or district-level arts assessments. The database does not capture arts in education policy decisions and activities at the district level.

Links to content standards in the arts Arts defined as a core or an academic subject State-level arts assessment required District-level arts assessment required by state
Alabama Alabama Courses of Study Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Alaska Content and Performance Standards for Alaska Students

Alaska Content Standards - Arts

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Arizona Arizona Art Standards

Minimum course of study: Students shall demonstrate competency as defined by the State Board-adopted Essential Skills, in the required subject areas, including music and visual arts. (Ariz. Admin. Code R7-2-301)

Not found in statute or code. Minimum course of study and competency goals for students: Arizona students must demonstrate competency as defined by state board-adopted Essential Skills in several required subject areas, including music and visual arts. District instructional programs must include an ongoing assessment of student progress toward meeting the competency requirements. (Ariz. Admin. Code R7-2-301)
Arkansas Arkansas K-12 Curriculum Frameworks in Fine Arts Common core system: The arts are part of the “Common Core” graduation requirements. (Code Ark. R. 005 22 006) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
California Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Frameworks and Standards Arts education: Legislative findings: "The Legislature finds and declares that there is a need to include the arts in the school curriculum as a means of improving the quality of education offered in California's public schools and reinforcing basic skills, knowledge, and understanding." (CA EDUC CODE § 8810)

Areas of study, grades 1-6: Describes subjects that must be taught in grades 1-6 as part of the course of study, which include "Visual and performing arts, including instruction in the subjects of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, aimed at the development of aesthetic appreciation and the skills of creative expression." (CA EDUC CODE § 51210)

Areas of study; grades 7-12: Describes subjects that must be offered in grades 7-12 as part of the course of study, which include "Visual and performing arts, including dance, music, theater, and visual arts, with emphasis upon development of aesthetic appreciation and the skills of creative expression." (CA EDUC CODE § 51220)

Definitions: "'Academic Achievement' means to improve one's ability to engage in academic endeavors and to accomplish study in core curriculum areas such as reading, writing, mathematics, fine arts, science, vocational education, technology, history or social science." (Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, § 1859.2)

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Colorado Colorado K-12 Academic Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Connecticut Connecticut arts standards and related materials Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Delaware Delaware Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
District of Columbia Elementary Arts Standards

Secondary Arts Standards

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Florida Sunshine State Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Georgia Georgia Learning Connections Quality Core Curriculum Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Hawaii Hawai'i Content and Performance Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Idaho Arts and Humanities Courses of Study Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Illinois Illinois Learning Standards for Fine Arts Accountability framework: Lists the six fundamental learning areas, which include the fine arts. (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 23, § 1.10) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Indiana Indiana's Academic Standards for Music and Visual Arts K-12

Indiana's Academic Standards for Theatre

Indiana's Academic Standards for Dance

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Iowa Iowa does not have state content standards. Local school districts may develop their own standards. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Kansas Kansas Arts Education Standards School accreditation requirements: Schools must offer art instruction to become accredited; otherwise, sanctions are applied. School accreditation criteria includes offering "programs and services to support student learning and growth at both the elementary and secondary levels," including fine arts. (Kan. Admin. Regs. 91-31-32) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Kentucky Student Performance Standards

Program of Studies

Core curriculum definition: "'Core curriculum' means at least one (1) course in at least four (4) of the six (6) following subject areas: English, science, mathematics, social studies, foreign language, and the arts." (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.007)

Assessment of achievement of goals: The Kentucky Board of Education will create and implement a statewide assessment program to ensure school accountability for student achievement of the goals. The assessment program shall include open-response or multiple-choice items, or both, to assess student skills in reading, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, the humanities, and practical living and vocational studies. These assessments shall measure, to the extent possible, the core content for assessment. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.6453)

Not found in statute or code.
Louisiana Content Standards, web resources and course guidelines Foundation in fundamentals: The elementary grades shall provide a foundation in fundamentals of the language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, health, physical education, and cultural arts. (La. Admin. Code tit. 28 CXV Bulletin 741 § 2313 (D) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Maine State of Maine Learning Results in Visual and Performing Arts Elementary course of study: Prescribes a basic course of study for elementary schools that includes visual and performing arts. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A, § 4711)

General requirement: Prescribes a basic course of study that all high schools must provide for all students, which includes visual and performing arts, among other subjects. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A § 4721)

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Massachusetts Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Statewide educational goals and academic standards: The Massachusetts board must establish a set of statewide educational goals for all public elementary and secondary schools. The board will direct the commissioner to institute a process to develop academic standards for the core subjects of mathematics, science and technology, history and social science, English, foreign languages and the arts. The standards must cover grades kindergarten through twelve and must clearly set forth the skills, competencies and knowledge that all students are expected to possess at the conclusion of individual grades or clusters of grades. The board will direct the commissioner to institute a process for drawing up curriculum frameworks for the core subjects covered by the academic standards. (Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 69 §1D and §1E) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Michigan Arts Education Content Standards and Working Draft Benchmarks (PDF) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Minnesota Academic Standards in the Arts

Required academic standards: The following subject areas are required for statewide accountability: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health & physical education, and the arts. (Minn. Stat. 120B § 021)

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Mississippi Visual and Performing Arts Framework Accreditation requirements: The basic curriculum of each elementary or middle school (any configuration of grades K-8) consists of reading/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts, which may be taught by a regular classroom teacher. High school students must take one Carnegie unit in the arts to graduate. (Miss Code Ann. § 37-1-3(2) and § 37-13-134) (MS ADC 36 000 069)

Public school accountability standards: The “academic core” is defined as the required course offerings in which specific skills contained in the Mississippi Curriculum Frameworks. These subjects include English/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, and arts. (Miss. Code Ann. § 37-17-1 and § 37-18-1) (MS ADC 36 000 097)

Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Missouri Fine arts standards, frameworks and grade-level expectations State academic standards: The fine arts are among seven subjects included in Missouri's academic standards. Fine arts curriculum frameworks and grade-level expectations also have been developed as part of the standards requirements. (Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 5, § 50-345.100) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Montana Montana Standards for Arts (PDF) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. School accreditation – Curriculum and assessment: Montana school districts must incorporate all content and performance standards into their curriculum, implementing them sequentially and developmentally. Districts also must assess the progress of all students toward achieving content and performance standards in all program areas, including the arts. The assessment of all students must be used to examine the educational program and measure its effectiveness based on the content and performance standards. (ARM tit. 10-55 § 603 and 10-54 § 2810)
Nebraska Visual and Performing Arts Education Core curriculum:"Core Curriculum means a curriculum which includes...visual and performing arts...." (Neb. Admin. Code tit.92-10, § 002) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Nevada Nevada Music Standards

Nevada Theater Standards

Nevada Visual Arts Standards

Prescribed Courses of Study - Elementary school: The Nevada State Board of Education prescribes the courses of study for elementary schools, which include art and music. (Nev. Admin. Code ch. 389, § 195) (Nev. Rev. Stat. 385.080, 385.110)

By the end of third and fifth grades, students must know and be able to do everything required in the previous grades, and instruction must be designed so that pupils meet the standards of performance. (Nev. Admin. Code ch. 389, § 272 and Nev. Admin. Code ch. 389, § 2949) (Nev. Rev. Stat. 385.080, 389.520)

The State Board shall prescribe the courses of study for the public schools, which must comply with the standards of content and performance established by the Council to Establish Academic Standards for Public Schools. (Nev. Rev. Stat. 385.110)
Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
New Hampshire Curriculum Frameworks for the Arts Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Arts education program and assessments: New Hampshire local boards must ensure that arts education programs for grades K-12 provide: (a) systemic and sequential instruction in the arts disciplines of music and visual art, while developing opportunities for dance and theatre; (b) planned curriculum that is consistent with RSA 193-C:3, III; and (c) sound assessment practices as stated in Ed 306.24. Schools must provide for the ongoing assessment of learning outcomes through the use of local assessments that are aligned with state and district content and performance standards. Other requirements for local assessments are outlined in section 306.24. (N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed 306.31; 306.24; 306.26; Ed 306.27)
New Jersey New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Comprehensive Education Improvement and Financing Act: Legislative findings: "[R]ather than being one component of the cross-content workplace readiness standards, technology, given its importance in our knowledge-based economy, should rightfully be one of the core fields of study in school, along with mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, visual and performing arts, comprehensive health and physical education and language arts/literacy that currently comprise the core curriculum content areas." (N.J. STAT. ANN. 18A §7F-4.1)

New Jersey School of the Arts - purpose: "to serve the students of New Jersey and to supplement and provide instruction to fulfill the Core Curriculum Content Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts adopted by the State Board of Education." (N.J. STAT. ANN. 18A §61A-1)

Not found in statute or code. Curriculum and instruction: New Jersey district school boards are responsible for assessing and publicly reporting on the progress of all students in developing the knowledge and skills specified by the Core Curriculum Content Standards, which include the visual and performing arts. Districts must assess content areas even if they are not currently included in the statewide assessment program. (N.J. Admin. Code 6A §8-3.1(a)(3); 6A §8-1.1 and 6A §8-2.1(2))
New Mexico New Mexico Arts Standards, Benchmarks and Performance Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
New York Core Subjects/Learning Standards for the Arts Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
North Carolina Arts Education Standard Course of Study and Grade Level Competencies, Dance, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts Basic Education Program: "A program of instruction which is fundamentally complete and which would give the student a thorough grounding in these areas: arts education, English Language Arts..." (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C-81; NC State Board of Education Policy HSP-G-003) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
North Dakota State standards Core academic areas: Music and visual arts are considered core academic areas, along with English, mathematics, and others.(N.D. Admin. Code § 67.1-02-03-07) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Ohio Fine Arts Academic Content Standards Comprehensive curriculum: Under the Operating Standards for Ohio Schools adopted by the State Board of Education in December 2000, “The school district or school shall implement a comprehensive district-wide curriculum. The district’s curriculum shall include study of fine arts, including music” as well as other listed academic subjects. (Ohio Admin. Code 3301-35-04) Not found in statute or code. School district curriculum and instruction: School districts must provide a curriculum that includes the following subjects: (h) the fine arts, including music. A course of study must be adopted for each subject taught and must (v) provide a way to assess student progress and the need for intervention; and (vii) be guided by Ohio's state-adopted model curriculum programs, or other curricular models, and objectives assessed by the state proficiency tests. Districts must provide for an assessment system that aligns with their courses of study and includes: (1) regular assessment of student performance; and (2) guidelines for using assessment results for instruction, evaluation, intervention, guidance, and grade-promotion decisions. (Ohio Admin. Code 3301-35-04 (A)(1 and 5) and (E))
Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills in The Arts (PASS)

Priority Academic Student Skills: The Arts: Overview: Since 1990 the arts have been part of core curriculum in Oklahoma. The Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) in the arts is a basic curriculum framework." (Okla. Admin. Code 210:15-3-114)

Program of studies and graduation requirements: To graduate, students must complete 23 credits, including 15 in the "core curriculum," which includes 2 credits in the arts. (Okla. Admin. Code 210:35-9-31)

Not found in statute or code. Norm-referenced tests - Criterion-referenced tests: The Oklahoma department of education was required to develop fine arts assessment strategies aligned with state arts standards by the end of 2003. Districts must select from these assessment strategies and administer grading, portfolio or performance assessments. Beginning in the 2004-05 school year, districts must test each student in grades 3-8 in the fine arts and report annually the results of these assessments to the state board. The criterion-referenced tests in the arts were discontinued after the 2002-2003 school year and replaced with these school district assessments. (70 Okl. St. Ann. § 1210.508)
Oregon Searchable standards database Standard education: The standard education is comprised of:(1) Common Curriculum Goals that consist of…(b) Common Knowledge and Skills. The Common Knowledge and Skills consists of facts, concepts, principles, rules, procedures and methods of inquiry associated with the following subject matter areas…(G) Music; (H) Art… (Or. Admin. R. 581-021-0200(A)) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Pennsylvania Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities

Elementary education - primary and intermediate levels: A limited number of subjects, including the arts (visual arts, music, dance and theater), are included as part of the primary curriculum program for primary (up to age 8) and intermediate (up to age 11) grade levels. (22 Pa. Code § 4.21)

Not found in statute or code. Assessments and public reporting: Pennsylvania district strategic plans must incorporate an assessment plan that describes the local assessment system as required under § 4.52 (relating to local assessment system) including methods and measures used to determine the degree to which students are achieving academic standards (includes the arts). The assessments must describe methods and measures used to determine achievement, how information from the assessments shall be used to assist students who have not demonstrated attainment of the academic standards at a proficient level or higher, and how all students as well as significant student subgroups are achieving as compared to the standards and annual improvement targets. (22 PA Code. Ch. 4.12 (g) and 4.13 (11)(6))
Rhode Island K-12 Arts Framework High school curriculum: “Each student exiting a Rhode Island high school with a diploma shall exhibit proficiency in a common academic core curriculum that includes the arts and technology” (Regulations of The Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education Regarding Public High Schools and Ensuring Literacy for Students Entering High School, Section 5.2) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
South Carolina Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
South Dakota Content Standards: Fine Arts Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Tennessee Curriculum Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Texas Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part II, Chapter 117. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Fine Arts Curriculum requirements for high school: The fine arts are among the "academic core components" and "core courses" required for high school graduation. (Tex. Admin. Code tit. 19 § 74.12 and 74.42 - 44) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Utah Fine Arts Education page

Core Curriculum

Core curriculum: School boards must establish a core curriculum that includes the arts for students in grades 3-6 and in middle school. School districts must establish a core curriculum for students in grades 9-12 that includes 1.5 credits in the arts. (Utah Admin. Code 277-700) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Vermont Vermont's Framework of Standards & Learning Opportunities Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Virginia Standards of Learning Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Washington Essential Academic Learning Requirements for the Arts Basic Education Act: The goals of school districts will be to provide opportunities for all students to develop the knowledge and skills essential to: (2) Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history; geography; arts; and health and fitness. (Wash. Rev. Code § 28A.150.210) Not found in statute or code. Essential academic learning requirements and assessments: By the end of the 2008-2009 school year, school districts must have elementary, middle and high school assessments or other strategies to assure that students have an opportunity to learn the essential academic learning requirements in social studies, the arts, health and fitness. Beginning in 2008-09, districts must annually submit an implementation verification report to the office of the superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent must post on the superintendent's web site lists of resources and model assessments in social studies, the arts, and health and fitness. (RCW 28A.230.095 and RCW 28A. 655.070(13))
West Virginia West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives Core requirements: The definition of "Core Requirements" includes the arts. (W. Va. Code St. R. § 126-42-5) Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Wisconsin Wisconsin Model Academic Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Wyoming Wyoming State Standards Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.


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