Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title 1 Goals

This week in Washington DC, at the Arts Education Partnership’s National Forum Spotlight: Educating the Next America, we will release a new white paper, A Policy Pathway: Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title I Goals.

Co-authored with Danielle Brazell of Arts for LA and Dr. Lauren Stevenson of Junction Box Consulting, the paper documents the journey we’ve been traveling for the past eighteen months to make it possible for schools and districts to embrace arts strategies for achieving the goals of Title I and improving educational outcomes for low-income students who are often underserved in public schools. 
 
Our interest in this issue was spurred by the substantial body of research demonstrating that certain forms of arts education can be an asset to schools and districts in achieving Title I goals. Despite that research evidence and the support of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who states that “Arts education remains critical to leveling the playing field of opportunity,” we have found a lack of clarity about whether and how the arts might play a role in Title I programs.

Tips for advocacy within Common Core Conversations


What role can arts advocates play in the conversations happening around Common Core? We can be active contributors to conversations, helping educators see the connections between Common Core and the invaluable contributions of learning in and through the arts. Our recent Local Advocacy Retreat featured a session by Vice President for Education for the Los Angeles Music Center and California Alliance Board Chair, Mark Slavkin highlighting the risks and opportunities that Common Core presents, along with some strategic approaches for advocates. 

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Resources for LCFF

In June, California passed historic reforms to our school financing system. After four years of funding cuts, districts now have the ability to make decisions that help to restore, make improvements and set a foundation for a more responsive and outcome driven educational program at the local level.

The new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) provides a base level of funding for all districts, with additional funds for districts with higher needs. It also gives local school boards unprecedented control over how these new funds are spent. In this new paradigm, the role of local advocates is critical. 

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Americans for the Arts Releases Arts Education E-Books


Americans for the Arts has designed a series of e-books to help educators, advocates, students, and organizations alike navigate the field of arts education and work together to ensure that the arts are valued in our country as an important part of all students’ lives.

The e-book series will cover multiple topics, such as the benefits of arts education, what quality arts education looks like, tips for evaluating arts education, and how to effectively make the case that the arts should be an integral part of a well-rounded education. Learn more.

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Webinar: Creative Ways to Connect with your School Board

Creative Ways to Connect with Your School Board is a webinar offering concrete ways to build relationships with school board members and promote arts education in your local school district. Created by the California Alliance for Arts Education and the California State PTA, it features strategies for elevator speeches, school board presentations and an array of other ways to connect with school board members. View an archive of this one-hour event here (please note presentation begins at :30). 

With the budget process underway, there are critical decisions ahead about if and how arts education will be funded. The Governor’s budget proposal, released last week, gives local districts greater flexibility and autonomy in how they use state funds, putting more decisions in the hands of local school boards, with fewer state restrictions and requirements. The Governor’s budget also eliminates some categorical funding, which could shift money away from what was previously reserved to support arts education programs.  Watch the archive here. (please note presentation begins at :30). 

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Adobe On Why Creativity Skills are an Important Part of a Well-rounded Education

By Jon Perera, Vice President, Adobe Education 
 
Adobe has always believed that creativity fosters success, empowers us, and differentiates us, whether in everyday life, the workplace or school. It also seemed, however, that as a society, we often take creativity for granted. To gain a better understanding of the cultural and economic impact of creativity, Adobe commissioned a survey earlier this year. The study delved into perspectives on creativity among 5000 adults – 1000 each in countries that represent five of the world’s largest economies - the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.  
 
The State of Create benchmark study examined global attitudes, behaviors and perceptions on the topic. The results were striking. The study revealed a global creativity gap -- the universal concern that creativity is suffering at work and school. Around the globe, 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth. Nearly two-thirds feel creativity is valuable to society. Yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people – believes they are living up to their own creative potential. Additionally, many believe creativity is taken for granted (52% globally, 70% in the United States) and more than half of those surveyed feel that creativity is being stifled by their education systems.
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Arts education helps at-risk students succeed

 

A new study released by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts and Achievment in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longituinal Studies, examines the academic and civic behavior outcomes of teenagers and young adults who
 have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school.

According to the research, "teenagers and young adults of low socioeconomic status (SES) who have a history of in-depth arts involvement show better academic outcomes than do low-SES youth who have less arts involvement. They earn better grades and demonstrate higher rates of college enrollment and attainment."  

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Report on Assessment Tools for Arts Education.

The National Endowment for the Arts has released a new research report, Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations. As the field of educational assessment advances, and as alternatives to standardized tests emerge, the tools used to evaluate student learning, such as portfolio reviews, are beginning to gain acceptance. Given this development, it is even more important to examine arts educational standards and assessment tools to ensure that arts learning can become a vital force for enhancing 21st century skills. Read the report.  Read Story about Report on Assessment Tools for Arts Education.

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.

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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. 
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