Illinois Arts Learning Standards Initiative


"We are confident Illinois is ready to affirm the value of arts education and recommit to Illinois arts learning with these updated standards."

Arts Alliance Illinois


Led by educators, the Illinois Arts Learning Standards Initiative developed recommendations for updated arts learning standards for Illinois, which were approved unanimously by the Illinois State Board of Education on June 16, 2016 and will go into effect starting with the 2018-19 school year.  These standards reflect best practices and identify what is important for students to know and be able to do in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

I served on the Visual Arts committee during the revision of the standards and presented the revisions with the team to the Illinois State Board of Education on February 10th of 2016.


Illinois State Board of Education
Arts Alliance Illinois


Project Outputs


Over the course of 18 months, work group and committee members met 34 times and volunteered more than 1,400 hours in developing the recommendations for updated standards. On February 10, 2016, the initiative presented the recommended standards and implementation strategies to ISBE.


Learning Standards

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"It was a joy and honor to work on the learning standards initiative and to learn from the most talented, dedicated group of educators I have ever met."

Jonathan VanderBrug
Policy and Research Director, Arts Alliance Illinois

Client & Community Outcomes


In 2010, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) began a comprehensive review of the state’s learning standards in every subject area. As part of this process, ISBE turned its attention to the arts in 2014. Arts and media are continuously evolving, but Illinois’ arts learning standards had remained unchanged for nearly two decades. The time had come to modernize the standards.