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2020 CAS - Music Standards Summary of Changes


Colorado state law requires a review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards every six years with the first review to be completed by July 2018. Stronger alignment of learning expectations within and across grades had been the primary focus of the review and revision process. This includes additions, deletions, revisions and reorganizations of the standards. Listed below is a summary of the substantive revisions of the Music Standards. 

Notable Changes to All Content Area Standards:

The review committees made changes to the structure of the standards that apply to all content areas:

  • Changes to the title of the Prepared Graduate Competencies section of the standards document to Prepared Graduate Statements to reduce confusion with competency-based learning systems of instruction and assessment practices.
  • Changes to the title of the right side of the standards document from 21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies to Academic Context and Connections. The sections within the Academic Context and Connections continue to focus on essential skills and relevant connections to the Grade Level Expectations.
  • Revisions to the preschool standards for all content areas contain revisions to align the expectations with Colorado’s Early Learning and Development Guidelines and the latest revision of the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.

All Grades (Preschool through 12th grade):

  • Prepared Graduate Statements for music have been updated to better align with the skills and expectations of the 21st Century music learner.
  • The sections within the Academic Context and Connections have been revised from “Inquiry Questions,” “Relevance and Application,” and “Nature of _______” to “Essential Skills,” “Inquiry Questions,” and “Expand and Connect.” We have updated these categories to increase disciplinary literacy and better align with the PWR skills and to increase the rigor. 

Preschool through 5th grade:

  • The proposed Preschool revisions represent a significant change compared to the 2010 CAS. The proposed standards have improved coherence, depth, and breadth and are strongly aligned with proposed revisions in Kindergarten.
  • The Concepts and Skills described in the Evidence Outcomes have been revised to be more aligned with current practices, methodologies, and pedagogies.

6th through High School (9th through 12th grade):

  • The grade level categories have been updated to include skill acquisition (for example 6th/Novice, 7th/Intermediate, 8th/Proficient, High School/Accomplished, High School/Advanced), to assist with students who have an entry point into music learning later chronologically (e.g. high school) to have a standards the more closely align with their skill level.

6th through 8th grade:

  • There are more active verbs in the vertical progression through these grade levels to provide depth, breadth, and focus for the learners.

High School (9th through 12th grade)

  • High school will continue to use two levels to provide depth, breadth, and focus for the learners, but the levels are no longer “Generalist” and “Performance.” The levels have been updated to “Accomplished” and “Advanced.” 

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