About Us

MAEIA is a story about a cross-sector collaboration of partners who prioritized the use of one time appropriated funds and aligned those priorities in the development of resources, tools, and the means to use them.

The History of the MAEIA Project

The MAEIA Project has been developed by the Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAC) and Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in partnership with Michigan educators.

MAEIA resources and tools help districts and schools strengthen their systems and advance arts as a core element of a public education.

The story of the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment (MAEIA) project starts with the release of 2011 Arts Census data, updated and State Board approved MI Arts Content Standards (2011), and a significant commitment by the Michigan Department of Education to build interim assessments for grade levels and content areas not tested for accountability purposes with a state-provided measure.

The Michigan Assessment Consortium, a non-profit consortium of educators deeply committed to improving assessment knowledge and practice, partnered with Data Recognition Corporation, a national assessment company, to build what became MAEIA – a comprehensive package of resources and tools arts educators will use to increase access to high quality arts education programs and practice in Michigan’s schools. The MAEIA Blueprint Document 4-11-16, the compendium of Research and Recommendations Jan-2-2014, and the Program Review Tool combine to permit districts to engage in purposeful and systemic program improvement and enhancements. The MAEIA Catalogue of more than 350 curriculum-embedded performance tasks and events was designed from assessment specifications uniquely crafted to support learning that engages students in the creative process and pursuit of highly prized 21st century skills.

During the evolution of the project, National Arts Standards were revised and educator effectiveness became a national topic. States, including Michigan, revised state statutes outlining how educators will be evaluated. A feature of educator effectiveness law calls for demonstrating student growth in the discipline during an academic year. Educators have been eager for access to measures that will reflect the important knowledge, skills and habits of the discipline and metrics that accurately and fairly reflect student progress. The MAEIA Catalogue of Performance Tasks and Events, coupled with guidance about appropriate use of these assessments, provides one option arts educators might choose to use to track and demonstrate student growth and/or proficiency in their discipline.

Founding Contributors

Since 2012, more than 1,000 Michigan arts educators have contributed to the MAEIA project. The results are the MAEIA Blueprint, Research & Recommendations, Program Review Tool, Assessment Specifications, and Performance Tasks. They researched, wrote, reviewed, piloted, scored, identified exemplars, and presented to colleagues across the state and nation.

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Project Management Team

The MAEIA Project Management Team is a diverse group of experts in the areas of the arts, assessment, curriculum, instruction, data collection and technology.

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Kathy Dewsbury-White

Project Director

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Ana Luisa Cardona

MAEIA Arts Education Consultant

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Cheryl Poole

MAEIA Editor, Project and Website Support

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Jason O'Donnell

Project Assistant

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Ed Roeber

Assessment Director

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Kathy Humphrey

Media/Website Director, Field Test and PRT Coordinator

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Heather Vaughan-Southard

MAEIA Professional Learning Director and Website Support

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Barb Michelutti

PD and Media/Web Support Director

Kathy Dewsbury-White

Project Director

Kathy Dewsbury-White is a resource wrangler who is able to identify and combine people, organizations, and material resources to make things happen.
She is the designated border crosser – needing to understand the aspirations and opportunities, and protocols that originate from national organizations (National Endowment for the Arts), government (USDOE, State Education Agencies), and private companies (Data Recognition Corporation) to make shared agreements about specific projects/programs/initiatives happen.

Kathy is also an organization developer who develops non-profit corporations and then organizes project teams within public sector and private sector organizations to initiate, conduct and evaluate work.

Kathy provides the MAEIA project management team with the will and capacity to deliver a solution to a big vision. The big vision includes resources and tools developed and then used to improve quantity and quality of arts education programming in K-12 public schools in Michigan.

“The arts feed our souls; they are an essential component of a 21st century public education.”
Kathy Dewsbury-White (2011- )

Ana Luisa Cardona

MAEIA Arts Education Consultant

Ana served as the Michigan Department of Education’s Arts Education Consultant from 1998-2010 and as communications specialist with Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative focused on equity in postsecondary education (1984-1998). She worked with state education colleagues in departments of education to found SEADAE – the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education and served as founding president from 2004-2006.

Ana has non-profit experience which began with a Management Fellowship for the National Endowment for the Arts and was followed by serving as director of Casa de Unidad Cultural Arts and Media Center in Detroit (1980-83); and Community Relations Specialist with the Detroit Council for the Arts (1983-84).

Ana has had a consistent focus on quality arts education for all students throughout her career and her work with MAEIA. She brings a state and national perspective to the work of MAEIA that has allowed the team to learn from others and to share their work in Michigan and beyond.

“MAEIA is a unique partnership that has allowed a dedicated cross-disciplinary team to focus on the development of quality program improvement and learning resources for teachers and students throughout Michigan. I have always believed the arts should be a part of every student’s education preK-16. The arts are a source of inspiration, solace, and creativity for me. For these reasons, MAEIA represents a highpoint in my professional career.”
Ana Cardona (2011- )

Cheryl Poole

MAEIA Editor, Project and Website Support

Cheryl Poole is a person who works best as a member of an innovative, motivated team. Her thinking and contributions are enhanced by collaborative dialogue. Seeing big ideas in the context of innovation and change toward improvement is what inspires her contributions. She finds satisfaction in taking large projects, tackling them piece-by-piece and ensuring their timely completion.

Cheryl’s professional path started with teaching high school visual arts. This led to a short project management at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts followed by 7 years as Registrar at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. After finishing a master’s degree in education she worked 9 years at Allegan Intermediate School District, 7 years at Michigan Department of Education as Consultant for Professional Development and Title II Coordinator. Four years at Eaton RESA transitioned to retirement in 2010 after which Cheryl was recruited for and has felt fortunate to serve as MAEIA’s Editor and Project Management Support.

In this role, Cheryl has worked with the team to conceptualize how MAEIA can best serve arts education in Michigan. Once the vision was translated into a work plan, she has been able to help usher the big ideas into individual realities that support arts education in schools, hard-working educators and quality arts learning for Michigan students.

“Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment project (MAEIA) is the farthest reaching and most inspired set of resources for arts educators and the schools in which they work. I am proud to have been at the table when the resources were imagined and to help bring those imaginings alive with collegial collaboration and professional contributions.”
Cheryl Poole (2011- )

Jason O'Donnell

Project Assistant

The skills that Jason O’Donnell brings to the MAEIA grant are communication, organization, systems thinking, technology and financial management.

Currently he serves as Executive Assistant for the Michigan Assessment Consortium, and also provides project support for both MAEIA and FAME grant work in Michigan.

In providing project support for the MAEIA grant, Jason has played a central role in assembling work teams and communicating details of tasks to those teams. He has also facilitated communication and archival of grant activity and documentation, as well as maintained the budget for the MAEIA grant.

Jason is a life-long lover and supporter of the arts, who is proud to support, in his small way, a Whole Child education for Michigan’s children through this important arts assessment project.

Ed Roeber

Assessment Director

Currently, Ed is an independent consultant, mostly advising state education agencies and the national programs serving them. Prior to this, he was an adjunct professor of education in the MSU College of Education.

In the past, Ed served as assessment development consultant and coordinator (1972-76) and then directed the assessment and accountability program for the Michigan Department of Education (1976-91and 2003-07). He worked as a vice president for Measured Progress (1998-2003) and directed student assessment programs for the Council of Chief State School Officers (1991-98). He began his career working on the NAEP project for the Education Commission of the States (1969-72).

Ed’s contributions to the MAEIA project include the development of project plans and budgets. He assists the project in securing necessary funding and then to use that funding to successfully carry out the goals of the project. Ed serves the MAEIA project as assessment development director and editor of the MAEIA assessments.

“It is my hope that the MAEIA project that involves teacher selection and use of performance assessments embedded in their instruction will serve as a model for interim assessments in other content areas. Doing so will promote active learning on the part of students, and will facilitate performance-based educator demonstrations of their effectiveness, far better than simplistic test scores. I also hope that the project will permit teacher collaboration across the state in learning and using performance assessments in their instruction.”
Ed Roeber (2011- )

Kathy Humphrey

Media/Website Director, Field Test and PRT Coordinator

Kathy Humphrey is an educational consultant with expertise in survey design and analysis, focus groups, facilitation, project management, and writing. Over the past few years, her primary clients have been the Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAEIA Project) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

Kathy was previously employed at Ingham Intermediate School District for 23 years. In that role she designed and managed evaluation projects for various educational initiatives. When Kathy retired from that role, she started her own consulting business. Having collaborated with Kathy Dewsbury-White (MAEIA Project Director) at Ingham ISD, she was delighted to join the MAEIA project. Her first task was to gather feedback about the tools and resources MAEIA was developing and then continued on the project as the Assessment Field Test Coordinator.

Kathy’s contributions include project management and coordination for various components of MAEIA, technical services such as survey development, and assisting with writing and editing communications. She feels her most important contribution to MAEIA is being a life-long learner, willing to roll up her sleeves and dig in to learn whatever it takes to support the project.

“MAEIA is an exciting initiative focused on advancing arts programming and student assessment in Michigan. I’m proud to be a part of this wonderful group of educators and this worthy cause.”
Kathy Humphrey (2013- )

Heather Vaughan-Southard

MAEIA Professional Learning Director and Website Support

Heather has a gift for connecting people, ideas, and contexts inside a functional arts education. She is skilled at taking complex ideas and making them digestible, without losing the sophistication. She crafts practical professional development that is tailored to the needs of the people in front of her. Heather has an understanding of pedagogy and project-based learning strategies for students, educators, and community partners and is highly skilled in community building.
Heather has covered the spectrum in professional experiences within the field of dance from teaching at the university/college level to all grades K-12. She has been a K-12 artist in residence, an arts-in-healthcare facilitator, a performer, choreographer, program consultant and writer.

Heather has represented Dance as the Team Lead with the MAEIA Blueprint, contributed to the Assessment Specifications document, contributed to the writing and review of the MAEIA Model assessments. Now, her goal is to inform arts educators how they may access and implement the assessment tools to make their lives easier and to elevate their instruction.

Seth Godin says, “Be personal. Be relevant. Be specific.” This is the strength of a quality arts education and the drive behind the creation of the MAEIA tools.
Heather Vaughn-Southard (2012- )

Barb Michelutti

PD and Media/Web Support Director

Barb Michelutti is, first and foremost, a teacher. She is enthusiastic about technology and has the ability to envision how technology supports and enhances a project. Barb thrives in collaborative endeavors where the specific skills, knowledge, and gifts of each individual make the work of the group infinitely better.

Barb spent close to 30 years as a classroom teacher. Her last few years were spent teaching Visual Art and Literacy to 6-8th graders. After that she worked as an independent consultant at the county, state and national level. Throughout Barb’s career she developed and presented many workshops and training for teachers in innovative instructional strategies.

As the MAEIA PD and Media/Web Support Director, Barb has created and maintained the project’s web presence through a wiki space and a Facebook page. These sites have supported the work of the Project Management Team and the field expertise. Her ultimate goal is the creation of the MAEIA Arts Education Network website, where all the MAEIA resources and assessments will be housed and made available to all arts educators in Michigan. Barb’s hope is that this interactive website will become an important part of how arts education thrives and continues to grow in Michigan.

“The arts define who I am, at the very core of my being. I see my work on the MAEIA project as a natural extension of my personal and professional Journey."
Barb Michelutti (2011-2016)

MDE

Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is Michigan's state agency responsible for providing information, resources and technical assistance on educational matters to schools and residents in the state of Michigan.  The Office of Education Improvement and Innovation and the Bureau of  Accountability and Assessment support the MAEIA project.

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Michigan Assessment Consortium

Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAC), Inc is a nonprofit organization that exists to improve student learning and achievement through system of coherent curriculum, balanced assessment and effective instruction. They do this by collaboratively:

Promoting assessment knowledge and practice

Providing professional development

Providing and sharing assessment tools and products.

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Data Recognition Corporation

Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) is a privately-held company headquartered in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  DRC provides full-service educational testing and assessment programs, and believes that innovative, large-scale quality assessments have the power to change the conversation about learning and ensure that all students are college- and career-ready upon graduation.  Throughout more than 30 years of successful student achievement testing, DRC has developed and refined processes to ensure the highest levels of quality and customer satisfaction.

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Our Partners

Together we can have a collective impact on the quality and reach of arts education in Michigan!

Interested in becoming a partner? Learn more