The next generation National Core Arts Standards (for visual arts, music, theatre, dance, and media arts) released in 2014 play a major role in the development of art education advocates and leaders. Based on the Understanding by Design (UbD) principles of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (2005), Visual Arts Standards and Assessment Teams crafted the Next Generation Standards and Model Cornerstone Assessments to help art educators operate in the educational currency of enduring understandings and big ideas. The Standards identify 15 enduring understandings that guide teachers in their work with students from preschool through high school. The levels of sophistication and instruction change with time as students stack their learning as they grow. Both contemporary art and design are included to help better prepare students for subsequent jobs in the creative economy. As the digital age unfolds, visual literacy increasingly impacts how we live, where we go, and the choices that we make throughout life; the Standards will make a powerful contribution in guiding students in their cognitive, social, and emotional development in preparation for college, career, and citizenry. The Standards will help art educators communicate beyond the what of their subject matter and into why art matters. With a common language in place, members of the wider art education professional community will be empowered to promote and advance the essential value of art education.