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Colorado and the National Core Arts Standards (NCCAS)

Comparison between Colorado Academic Standards in the Arts and National Core Arts Standards Released

Following the process outlined below, the department engaged arts specialists in a comprehensive review between the state arts standards and the new national arts standards. CDE would like to thank the Colorado arts educators and standards authors in Dance, Drama and Theatre Arts, Music, and Visual Arts that served as reviewers to determine commonalities and differences between the Colorado Academic Standards in the Arts and the National Core Arts Standards. The compilation of major findings from the comprehensive reviews has been organized into infographics for each arts discipline, accompanied by video tutorials about the infographics.  In addition, there is a one page navigation sheet to provide information on the purpose for each section of the infographic.

Dance: Infographic and Video (5 minutes 11 seconds)

Drama and Theatre Arts: Infographic and Video (4 minutes 52 seconds)

Music: Infographic and Video (6 minutes 13 seconds)

Visual Arts: Infographic and Video (5 minutes 5 seconds)


National Core Arts Standards Released

On June 4, 2014 the final version of the National Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) were released. View a frequently asked questions document about the NCCAS.

As Colorado districts are in the midst of implementing the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) for the four arts areas of Dance, Drama and Theatre Arts, Music, and Visual Arts the department plans to follow a thoughtful and sequenced approach to reviewing the National Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).

  • The department wants to appropriately balance the current work within districts in implementing the CAS in the arts areas with the interest from practitioners in reviewing and considering possible merits of the NCCAS.
  • The department plans to engage arts specialists in determining a need to review the NCCAS and prepare an overview of comparison to the Colorado Arts Standards. The comparison could be used to discuss with district leaders and arts practitioners the similarities, differences, strengths, and weaknesses of the two sets of standards.
  • The department will identify appropriate next steps based on these discussions. Any proposed changes to the standards would be recommended only after receiving significant support and feedback from the practitioners and with an ample timeline for implementation. Proposed changes would also include consideration of the timing alignment with the current revision timeline slated for the Colorado Arts Standards in 2018.
  • Changes to the state's standards would require action by the Colorado State Board of Education.

The NCCAS and the Common Core State Standards were developed separately. Thus, NCCAS are not the same as the Common Core, nor are they the same as the CAS for the arts areas. Colorado’s districts are responsible for implementing the CAS for the arts or for implementing standards that meet or exceed the expectations and requirements of the CAS.

To provide your thoughts and comments on Colorado's response to the NCCAS, please complete our online survey.

For further assistance, please contact:

Judi Hofmeister
Dance Arts Consultant
Drama and Theatre Arts Consultant
P 720.376.2781

Donna Goodwin, Ph.D.
Visual Arts Consultant
P 720.376.2781

Carla Aguilar, Ph.D.
Music Arts Consultant
P 720.376.2781