New Hampshire Arts Graduation Competencies for Performance Assessment

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Introduction

In today’s blog, I have given over the entire issue to published information from NH Department of Education, to explain the use of graduation competencies and how performance assessments will be used to assess those competencies. This information has been policy since March 25, 2015.

Learning Guidelines for using Performance Assessments

New Hampshire students will be college and/or career ready by demonstrating learning in each of the four arts competencies—Creating, Presenting, Responding and Connecting—in one or more of the arts disciplines of dance, media, arts, music, theatre, and visual arts to achieve artistic literacy.

Competency #1: Creating

Applying the skills and language of a specific arts discipline, students will demonstrate the ability to create in the arts.

Demonstrations of Learning in Creating

For creating, students will apply the skills and language of a specific arts discipline to conceive and develop artistic ideas and work by:
• generating, conceptualizing, and organizing artistic ideas
• refining and completing artistic ideas

Competency #2: Presenting

Applying the skills and language of a specific arts discipline, students will demonstrate the ability to present in the arts.

Demonstrations of Learning in Presenting

For presenting, students will apply the skills and language of a specific arts discipline to convey meaning and communicate ideas of completed works by:
• analyzing, interpreting, and selecting artistic works for
presentation
• realizing, developing, and refining artistic works for
presentation

Competency #3: Responding

Applying the skills and language of a specific arts discipline, students will demonstrate the ability to respond in the arts.

Demonstrations of Learning in Responding

For responding, students will apply the skills and language of a specific arts
discipline to evaluate how artworks convey meaning by:
• perceiving and analyzing artistic work
• interpreting intent and meaning of artistic work
• applying criteria to artistic work

Competency #4: Connecting

Applying the skills and language of a specific arts discipline, students will demonstrate the ability to connect in the arts.

Demonstrations of Learning in Connecting

For connecting, students will apply the skills and language of a specific arts discipline to relate personal meaning and external context to specific works of art and during the art-making process by:
• synthesizing and relating knowledge and experience to artistic
ideas and artistic work
• applying societal, cultural, and historical contexts to artistic
ideas and artistic work

Background Context

New Hampshire Arts Model Competencies are one in the set of state competencies that establish key learning outcomes for driving education reform in the state. The New Hampshire education redesign effort has spanned a number of years, beginning in 2004 with an extensive review of current practice and hoped-for reform; however, New Hampshire’s work with competencies goes back to 1997 with the development and implementation of New Hampshire’s Competency Based Assessment System (CBAS).

The department’s current innovative work focuses on educational transformation (New Hampshire’s Story of Transformation) on a larger scale whereas competency-based education is fundamental to the shifts in the delivery and design of education for all New Hampshire students. Central to educational reform in New Hampshire is preparing students for college and career. In 2015, the New Hampshire State Board of Education adopted the New Hampshire Arts Model Graduation Competencies as one resource in a set of content-specific state model competencies for purposes of supporting and promoting positive change and improved student outcomes which, therefore, will better prepare students for success during and beyond high school.

The New Hampshire Arts Model Competencies were created by a committee of state experts in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts education, represented by practicing teachers and faculty members from our institutes of higher education who prepare teachers in each of the arts disciplines. The committee was facilitated by Marcia McCaffrey, Arts Consultant for the NH Department of Education. By decision of the committee, the 2014 National Core Arts Standards were used to inform the overarching goals of the arts competencies.

The New Hampshire Arts Model Competencies are centered on the four artistic processes, or competencies, of Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting. These four competencies span all grade levels and apply to all arts disciplines. These competencies represent the “how” of the arts. What this looks like in each arts discipline and in every arts-based classroom and school-based arts studio around our state is determined at the local level. The National Core Arts Standards, which may be used as a resource at the local level, provides one view of how these competencies scaffold grade by grade and are expressed in the individual arts disciplines of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

It is reasonable to consider these “graduation” competencies as overall PK-12 competencies; Preparing students to graduate from high school does not begin in grade nine. Getting students ready to graduate from high school and be college and/or career ready begins as soon as the young learner enters education, not exits. Therefore, these Arts Model Competencies are for all students and teachers along the educational continuum.

These competencies set-forth demonstrations of learning that translate seamlessly to authentic applied learning, such as project-based, inquiry-based, and performance–based assessment tasks. Since the release of the competencies in 2015, the New Hampshire arts education community has been building model tasks for assessing student learning in the arts that are aligned to the state Arts Competencies. The discipline specific performance standards from the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) and the eleven NCAS anchor standards provide more specific goals and expectations for student learning in individual arts disciplines (dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts). These two sources, the NH Arts Competencies and the National Core Arts Standards, are the primary documents for arts education in the state at this time.

Bibliography


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Curriculum Framework for the Arts Core Task Force. K-12 Curriculum Framework for the Arts. Concord, NH: New
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