Since 2000, Maryland’s twenty-four school systems have been involved in the process of developing and implementing strategic, long-range plans that will enable all Maryland students to achieve or exceed state standards in the fine arts.
Fine Arts Strategic Plans Chronology
1995 – Maryland State Board of Education adopts the goal that “100% of Maryland’s students will participate in fine arts programs that enable them to meet the content and achievement standards established by State standards for the arts.”
1997 – Maryland State Board of Education approves the Maryland Essential Learner Outcomes for the Fine Arts (ELOs).
1999 – Maryland State Department of Education conducts a comprehensive review of arts education programs in Maryland’s school systems that indicates that systems need help in a number of areas, including curriculum expansion and design, teacher training, equipment and facilities needs, staffing, and assessment instruments.
2000 – Funding from the Maryland General Assembly enables the Department of Education to fund Fine Arts Initiatives in all schools systems, using a formula that includes a basic grant of $20,000 plus $.75 per enrolled student. Grant awards are contingent upon each school system’s development of a strategic, long-range plan for enabling all students to achieve or exceed state standards in the arts. The plans are overseen by local steering committees comprised of system superintendents, fine arts supervisors, teachers, representatives of community organizations and other members of the community.
2001 – Enhanced funding from the Maryland General Assembly enabled the Department of Education to fund Fine Arts Initiatives in all twenty-four school systems, increasing the formula to include a basic grant of $20,000 plus $1.50 per enrolled student.
2002 – AEMS Alliance initiates a two-year project to examine the effect of the fine arts strategic planning process. The project is funded with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland State Arts Council, and numerous Maryland corporations and foundations.
2004 – AEMS Alliance publishes A Review of the Implementation of Fine Arts Strategic Plans in Maryland School Systems. The review is the culmination of a two-year project focusing on identifying:
- Exemplary implementation processes,
- Procedures, practices and policies resulting from the fine arts strategic planning effort, and
- Next steps that AEMS, the Maryland State Department of Education, and AEMS Alliance Steering Committee partner organizations could take to further support the development, expansion, and implementation of Fine Arts Strategic Plans.