The State Board of Education today appointed nine Missourians for work groups to review the state’s Fine Arts learning standards, which have been in place for 10 years. The nine were nominated by education organizations and will join other work group members nominated by legislators, the lieutenant governor and the governor.
“Arts learning can have benefits beyond the fine arts classroom,” said Blaine Henningsen, assistant commissioner in the Office of College and Career Readiness. “Research shows that students who study the arts show improvement in math, reading, and critical thinking, as well as in ‘soft skills’ such as concentration, teamwork, and creativity.”
The work group members represent each region of the state. There are two work groups. Sixteen members review standards for kindergarten through fifth grade, and 17 members review standards for grades 6-12. The following is a list of members named by the State Board:
Grades K-5 Work Group
- Paula Brashers – Fredericktown, nominated by professional teachers’ organizations
- Michelle Schmitz – Liberty, nominated by a statewide coalition of school administrators
- Alicia Weber – Nevada, nominated by nationally recognized career and technical education student organizations
- Leigh Mincks – Kirkwood, nominated by the heads of state-approved, baccalaureate-level teacher preparation programs
Grades 6-12 Work Group
- James Wrolstad – Liberty, nominated by professional teachers’ organizations
- Erin Helland – Lincoln, nominated by a statewide coalition of school administrators
- Janis Neher – Pierce City, nominated by nationally recognized career and technical education student organizations
- Carol Horst – Kansas City, nominated by the heads of state-approved baccalaureate-level teacher preparation program
- Lucas Chapman – Rolla, nominated by a statewide organization for career and technical education.
The Missouri Learning Standards define what every student should know and be able to do in each subject and grade. When standards are updated, work groups review the existing standards and make recommendations. DESE holds three public hearings on updated standards and solicits feedback from academic researchers and the joint committee on education. Once the updated standards are approved by the State Board, Missouri teachers, schools and districts determine curriculum to help students reach the standards.