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Will Measuring Creativity In Schools Help Youth Be Workforce Ready?

In an article featured in the Huffington Post, Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI) explores the potential impact of the creativity index proposed by SB 789 (Price), a bill sponsored by the California Alliance for Arts Education.

YMI interviewed Mary Wright, Associate Director for The Conference Board, a researcher on a report called, "Are They Really Ready To Work?", which "identified key skill sets that employers thought were important for their employees to have, and creativity and innovation were among the top five." Wright explains how she thinks it could affect the workforce readiness of young people today.

There is growing recognition that our state’s economy will be driven by ideas and innovation. According to a coalition of researchers, 81% of American corporate leaders say that “creativity is an essential skill for the 21st century work force.” Yet schools have narrowed their expectations in recent years, “teaching to the test” because standardized tests are the only public measures of school success.

School Board 101, A Webinar to Help You Advocate for Arts Education

In the coming months your local school board will be making important budget decisions. Find out how you can be a part of the conversation. 

The California Alliance for Arts Education, in partnership with the California State PTA, created School Board 101, a free one-hour webinar to help advocates work with their local school board. The webinar offers an introduction to what school boards do, and how you can build relationships, communicate effectively and advocate to keep arts and music programs funded.

School Board 101 was held on February 23. An archive of the event will be available shortly. To recieve a link to the archive when it's ready, email: sibyl at artsed411 dot org.

States Consider Creative Indexes for Schools

 

"If the only public measurement of your school is a standardized test, then schools have every incentive to teach to the test. The index is a tool to get to what is happening in the classroom."
 
In "Schools Mulling Creativity Indexes for Schools" in Education Week, Eric Robelen looks at three states that are considering adopting an Index that measures opportunities for creativity and innovation in schools.  
 
"At a time when U.S. political and business leaders are raising concerns about the need to better nurture creativity and innovative thinking among young people," Massachusetts, California (SB 789 Price) and Oklahoma are "exploring the development of an index that would gauge the extent to which schools provide opportunities to foster those qualities."

Thank you, Senator Kehoe

 

January 20, 2012


Senator Christine Kehoe

State Capitol, Room 5050

Sacramento, CA 95814
 


Dear Senator Kehoe:

Thank you for voting to pass SB 789 (Price) the Creative and Innovative Education Index. We salute your leadership on this issue.

Policy Council Tackles Tough Education Issues

The California Alliance for Arts Education convened its Policy Council in Sacramento last week and came to consensus on a number of the tough issues facing public education in California. The group affirmed the Alliance’s existing strategic priorities and called for particular emphasis on the need for funding, accountability, broader assessments of schools’ success and collaboration around the Create the State public awareness campaign for arts education. The agenda included presentations and discussion on: 
 
The four (now three) ballot initiatives to provide funding for public education
SB 547 and other efforts aimed at school accountability
Advocacy efforts to allow Title I funds to be used for arts education

Investing in Arts Education to Advance California’s Creative Industry

The academic and social value of the arts is well-documented, and researchers now recognize an economic value.  Leaders and employees of successful businesses and organizations in today’s creative economy utilize creativity, think critically, respect diverse viewpoints, and collaborate effectively.  These are skills developed through arts education.  California’s creative industry—one of the largest in the world—can certainly benefit from effective arts education programs in California schools.  

A new research study asserts that even in the midst of educational and financial struggles, it is essential for California to invest in the arts in order to flourish within a culturally diverse, economically successful, and highly competitive global community. Investing in Arts Education to Advance California’s Creative Industry, a study by Kurt Whitman, analyzes the current role of arts education in the context of law and policy and includes a proposed course of action to more effectively fund and instruct the arts in California. Read the study. 

Mark Slavkin's TED Talk Makes the Case for a Creativity Index

California Alliance Board Chair Mark Slavkin, was one of the featured speakers at TEDx Manhattan Beach on October 22, 2011. He described how the No Child Left Behind law has narrowed the curriculum and made it more difficult to provide quality arts education programs. He proposed the development of a new “creativity index” to hold schools accountable for more than just math and reading test scores. Watch the video. 

The Alliance is working to broaden school assessments with the introduction of SB 789 (Price), the Creative and Innovation Education Index.  This index would provide a tangible way to measure and inspire opportunities for creativity and innovation in our public schools. 

In a state where creativity and innovation have been so critical to our economic strength, the bill affirms that California remains a leader in forging a path to the future for its students. A similar “Creative Challenge Index” has been signed into law in Massachusetts and is under consideration in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Illinois. Read more about the Creativity Index.

School Assessments Should Go Beyond Standardized Tests

SB 789 (Price) Moving Forward

With your help, SB 789 (Price) passed on the Senate Floor. It is now making its way through the Assembly. It was heard and passed in the Assembly Education Committee on June 13, 2012. It was placed on the suspense calendar by the Appropriations Committee until August 16. We are now working with Senator Price to move the bill out of committee onto the Assembly floor, where the entire assembly can vote on the issue. 

SB 789 (Price), The Index for Creative and Innovative Education, is an opportunity to advance the conversation about how schools and students are evaluated. 

Sponsored by the California Alliance for Arts Education and authored by Senator Curren Price, SB 789 would create an index to measure student opportunities for creativity and innovation in schools. If passed, it would provide a tangible way to measure and inspire learning opportunities that nurture creativity and innovation in our public schools.

What's for breakfast? What's Breakfast for?

On a recent Thursday morning, a group of forty people gathered in San Francisco for a breakfast of grits, sausage and greens. It was a special occasion; it was a chance for parents, teachers, elected officials, school officials and artists to talk about how they could work together to support arts education in local public schools; it was also the launch of the thirtieth coalition in the Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network. 

Ten Salient Studies on the Arts in Education

OnlineColleges.net offers digests and links to ten recent studies about the impact of arts in education. Reports by research organizations, college professors and school districts themselves reveal the power of art to inspire, motivate and educate today’s students." Read the studies. 

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