Adopted by the State Board of Education in January 2001, the Standards describe the skills, knowledge, and abilities in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts that all students should be able to master at specific grade levels, pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, in California public schools.

Download a copy of the Standards on the California Department of Education web site. To obtain a hard copy of the Standards, visit CDE Press online or call 800-995-4099.


Updated in 2004, the California Visual & Performing Arts Framework defines the four arts components (visual arts, theatre, music, dance) and then provides guidelines for planning, delivering, and assessing a comprehensive arts education program for all students pre-K-12. It speaks to the teacher as it provides guidance for instruction of an arts discipline. Use of the Framework encourages uniform classroom instruction of the Visual and Performing Arts content Standards throughout the state.

The Framework provides connections between the arts and other core subjects to create an integrated curriculum. There are clear links between the works of arts of a specific artist, style, or technique and the history, the cultural context, or other related core topics.

The Framework outlines what students should know in the arts. It reminds educators of the essential ideas of arts education. It explains the value of arts education. It presents criteria for evaluating instruction resources. It recommends the implementation of professional development programs at the school and district levels. It recognizes the arts role in the California economy.

The Framework is published by the California Dept. of Education (CDE) Press. Download PDFs of each section of The Framework off the CDE VAPA web site or obtain a hard copy of the Framework from CDE Press online or call 800-995-4099.