The Nebraska Department of Education will hold public hearings Jan. 16 in La Vista and elsewhere across the state on proposed fine arts standards.
The department is also accepting comments from the public and educators on the new, first-ever state standards through Jan. 17 online. A draft of the standards and a survey are available at www.education.ne.gov/standardssurvey.
The standards cover media arts, visual arts, dance, music and theater, and the standards outline what students would need to learn in kindergarten to second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade and ninth through 12th grade.
No standardized test would correspond to the standards, unlike the language arts, mathematics and science standards, which are tied to federal education accountability requirements. The fine arts standards are intended to give direction to schools without mandating the details of teaching fine arts.
Public hearings will be held Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Educational Service Unit No. 3 at 6949 S. 110th St. in La Vista, which serves as the hearing site for the Omaha metropolitan area. Other public hearings are set for the same date and times in Lincoln, Wakefield, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Ainsworth.
Comments made at the hearing will be given to the Nebraska State Board of Education and a committee working on the standards. The board expects to give final approval to the fine arts standards in February.
Any individual or group may submit their thoughts on the standards. Beyond the survey and hearings, comments may be emailed to members of the State Board of Education or email@example.com.
Written comments can be mailed to Fine Arts Standards Input, Debbie DeFrain, Nebraska Department of Education, PO Box 94987, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509-4987. All comments must be received by Jan. 17.