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What to Look For: Development & Evaluation

How can arts teachers help peers and evaluators better understand the teaching and learning that takes place in their classrooms?

The purpose of the “What to Look For” documents on this page are to help arts educators communicate about teaching and learning in their classrooms with peers, instructional coaches, administrators, and others who may not have a background in the arts. Examples given are intended to help everyone connect understanding between arts-specific practices and the vocabulary of general education.

These documents contain hyperlinks to related content for each arts area. In addition, they are fillable forms with check boxes and comment sections that teachers, coaches, and administrators can utilize and save as they work with arts teachers.

To use the interactive features, download the document and open it using Adobe Reader or Apple’s Preview application.

Look Fors in the Arts:

Two girls playing guitars


The Perpich State Policy Pilot Program (SP3), an initiative of the Perpich Center with support from Americans for the Arts, established a working group to develop resources to assist Minnesota arts teachers as they engage the new Minnesota teacher development and evaluation process.

The State Policy Pilot Program (SP3) was launched by by the Perpich Center with support from the American for the Arts in 2014 and included ten states working to strengthen arts education through advancing state policy.

The SP3 Minnesota team, led by Pam Paulson, Senior Director of Policy, worked from 2014-2017 to develop resources for arts teachers and evaluators across the state as the implement the new Teacher Development and Evaluation statute.

The Minnesota SP3 Leadership Team united members of professional arts education organizations and the Minnesota Department of Education with the Perpich Center to study the landscape for teacher evaluation and provide assistance to teachers and principals in order to make implementation meaningful and useful.

In the summer of 2016, the Perpich Center and Minnesota Department of Education partnered to offer professional development workshops supporting arts teacher development and evaluation strategically positioned across Minnesota in St. Cloud, Rochester, and Fergus Falls. These workshops were supported by the Minnesota SP3 team.

2014-2017 Team Members:

  • Dr. Pam Paulson, Senior Director Policy, Perpich Center for Arts Education
  • Greg Keith, Director School Support,  Minnesota Department of Education
  • Kathy Brynaert, Former Representative, Minnesota Legislature
  • Mary Schaefle, Executive Director, Minnesota Music Educators
  • Kris Holsen, Past President, Art Educators of Minnesota  
  • Mary Jo Thompson, Arts Consultant
  • RoAnne Elliott, Educational Consultant 
  • Betsy Maloney, Perpich Center Outreach Director and Instructor, University of Minnesota
  • Jeremy Holien, Visual and Media Arts Coordinator, Perpich Center for Arts Education
  • Tyler Livingston, Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Wendy Barden, Music Education Consultant
Student working on a drawing


A workshop focusing on how arts teachers and principals can work together in their local teacher development and evaluation (TDE) process to improve instruction and student outcomes.

Presenters included:

  • Wendy Barden, Music Education Consultant
  • Jeremy Holien, Visual & Media Arts Education Specialist, Perpich Center for Arts Education
  • Tyler Livingston, Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Education

This arts-focused workshop included:


  1. What does it mean to be artistically literate: creating, performing/presenting, and responding?
  2. How can teachers and principals use academic standards for students and their local standards for effective practice (e.g., local TDE rubric) to:
    •  Reflect on and assess educator practices,
    •  Create improvement goals for teachers and students
    •  Identify and strengthen instruction, assessment and curriculum


  1. What can observers look for as evidence that students are using the artistic processes to meet arts standards?
  2. How can observers provide feedback that is specific, evidence-based and focused to support teacher growth?

To learn more, you can review the workshop presentation below and find supportive material from the workshop complete with downloadable content here.


The 2015 Minnesota Legislature enacted statutory legislation requiring teacher development and evaluation processes be established in all Minnesota school districts. The Minnesota SP3 team, working with these requirements, has moved forward with research into effective practices for supporting the professional development of arts teachers.

Information below documents work done by the state legislature, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota SP3 team to help guide districts as they development their local plans for teacher development and evaluation.

The Legislature

2015 State legislative statutes governing teacher development:

SP3 member Kathy Brynaert, former state representative, reviewed this legislation’s pathway through the Minnesota legislature. Here are her observations. 

Surveying Constituents

In May 2015, Minnesota arts teachers were surveyed about teacher evaluation for arts educators. Here is the report of findings from over 1,000 art teachers who responded.

In fall 2015, Minnesota principals were surveyed around their evaluation processes with arts teachers. Although the number of responses were low, the demographics of the respondents indicate a good sampling of principals from across the state. Here is the final report.

TDE Pilot Projects

The Perpich Arts High School piloted the Teacher Development and Evaluation model developed by the Minnesota Department of Education. Here is the final report for implementation work from 2013-2016 at the Perpich High School. (The report references Appendix A and Appendix B.)

The Minnesota Department of Education piloted the model in seventeen school throughout Minnesota.  Here is a link to the evaluation report prepared by the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement.

Follow this link for a summary of lessons learned and recommendations from the statewide pilot.