North Carolina Essential Standards Assessment Examples

Arts Education - Grades 3 - High School

What is the purpose of this tool?

Assessment is a vital component of the teaching and learning process. These assessment examples are aligned to new content standards and reinforce teaching the standards to their intended level of deep mastery. The purpose of providing examples is to illustrate ways in which the standards or part(s) of the standards might be assessed in the classroom.

How do I send Feedback?

We intend the examples in this document to be helpful and specific. That said, we believe that as this document is used, educators will find ways in which the tool can be improved and made even more useful. Please send feedback to us at and we will use your input to refine our instructional tool. Thank You!

Where are the North Carolina Essential Standards?

All standards are located at

Arts Education Assessment Examples

Thank you to all stakeholders who took the time to provide feedback via nearly 1500 survey responses and additional written email communications to the draft Assessment Examples (AEs) for Arts Education, as follows:
  • Dance: 95 reviews plus additional written feedback
  • Music: 761 reviews plus additional written feedback
  • Theatre Arts 106 reviews plus additional written feedback
  • Visual Arts 517 reviews plus additional written feedback

The Assessment Examples were developed as part of North Carolina's Race to the Top plan to support standards implementation and are not intended to be used as standardized statewide tests, but to serve as examples of some ways that standards (or parts of the standards) might be assessed in the classroom, by individual teachers. The examples are intended to help illustrate ways that the standards could be assessed, and are not mandated as part of statewide student or teacher accountability systems. Teachers are encouraged to implement assessments in ways that make sense to their teaching situations and best fit the needs of their students.

The examples that have been reviewed and approved, along with a description of the development process, are accessible from this web page:


Assessment Examples for Classroom Use


Assessment Examples for Classroom Use

Theatre Arts

Assessment Examples for Classroom Use

Visual Arts

Assessment Examples for Classroom Use

Feedback from the review process will be used by NCDPI consultants and experts in the content areas to refine the remaining examples for classroom use, with refined examples expected to be posted by December 22, 2012.

Development Process

NCDPI partnered with Technical Outreach to Public Schools (TOPS) at North Carolina State University as one resource for Assessment Examples (AEs) to be used with the North Carolina Arts Education Essential Standards.

During the spring of 2012, the following timeline was used to complete the development of assessment examples for review:

  • February 2012 - NCDPI Consultants met with TOPS staff members to share information about the Standard Course of Study and assessment needs in their content areas.
  • March 2012 - TOPS worked in collaboration with NCDPI to identify Arts Educators and/or internal TOPS staff who could draft AEs for review.
  • April - mid-May 2012 - AEs were drafted and submitted to TOPS, and then delivered to NCDPI. (There were a total of 220 AEs for Arts Education, or 1 for each standard in each arts area in grades 3 through the high school advanced proficiency levels.)
  • Late May - early June - AE drafts were reviewed by content teams representative of all four arts education disciplines and the 8 regions in NC. Feedback was submitted using a list of criteria and open-ended comments by reviewers using Zoomerang. (The Arts Education review was held May 31-June 1, 2012.)
  • Mid-June - TOPS revised AE drafts based on reviewer feedback and created the drafts posted below.
  • July/August - Educators reviewed the AE drafts below and provided feedback via Zoomerang surveys and email.
  • October 2012 - approved Assessment Examples are posted for classroom use
  • October - December 2012 - NCDPI consultants and content experts refine remaining Assessment Examples based on feedback
  • Mid-December 2012 - Assessment Examples for each standard are posted for classroom use