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New VAPA Standards Available for Review

In November 2016, the California Department of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, and State Board of Education began the process of revising the California Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) content standards. On July 26, 2018, the Instructional Quality Commission opened the public review and comment period for the draft VAPA Standards. The public review and comment period is an important opportunity for stakeholders to provide comments and suggested edits.

Part I: Otis Report on the Creative Economy

On May 22, 2018 the Otis College of Art & Design released the 2018 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California. Data shown are from 2016, with projections out to 2021.

Why is this important to K-12 educators, parents and community members?

Because the so-called “jobs of tomorrow” are here today!  As students search for a path forward, having this kind of data makes a compelling case for pursuing education that prepares students for creative careers. 

 

How to Use Data in Arts Education Advocacy

The California Arts Education Data Project is powerful tool for anyone hoping to learn more about the access to and quality of arts education in their community. It was designed to help increase participation in arts education across the state. It was first piloted in New Jersey, where access to arts education has risen from 94% to 99.8%.

What information is included in the Data Project?

  • Participation rates for secondary school students in California
  • School-level, district, county and statewide data is displayed in an interactive, color-coded dashboard 

New this year:

  • Year-over-year comparison tools display changes in access over time
  • Arts participation of students enrolled in free and reduced lunch program shows how the socio-economic status of a school district impacts access to the arts 

Conversation about Arts Advocacy on KVGC 1340 AM

Jessa Brie Moreno, Field Manager for the Alliance, and Meghan O'Keefe, Program Coordinator at the Amador County Arts Council, discuss topics such as the state education code, the creative economy, the Local Control Funding Formula, arts integration, and parent engagement in a recent radio interview. Listen to the full conversation at the links below.

Part I

Part II

Forum with 2018 Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction

On April 7, 2018, as part of the Arts Now Bay Area Summit, four students from schools across California, posed questions about arts education policy, equity and access at a Candidate Forum. The SPI of California is the nonpartisan elected executive officer of the California Department of Education. The SPI directs all functions of the Department, executes policies set by the California State Board of Education, and also heads and chairs the Board. View a recording of the full Candidate Forum below to learn about how each candidate plans to support arts education!

 

How to use the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning in the Arts Planning Process

The Challenge: How to introduce the Declaration and Model Resolution as part of the arts planning process so that the ideas and principles of the Declarations can be fully embraced in the Arts Plan.

The Strategy: Bring the resolution into the planning process as a way to guide thinking and support adoption of the plan!

The Story: A number of districts have adopted the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning and/or a Resolution supporting the Declaration based on the model available on CREATE CA’s website.  In our blog post last month, we highlighted The Amador Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy coalition working to increase access to arts education, and their local success in adopting the Declaration.

There’s not enough time in the day! How to find time in the schedule for arts.

The Challenge: Middle and high school students simply don’t have time in their schedules for arts education courses

The Strategy: Adopt a master schedule that ensures that every student can take arts classes

The Story: Middle and high school students have many competing priorities that quickly fill their course schedules: in addition to core academic courses, Advanced Placement courses, instruction for English language learners, academic intervention, and special education instruction all can take up precious time in a student’s schedule. All too often, when school counselors create schedules that accommodate required courses and the unique academic circumstances of each student, arts courses—visual art, music, dance, theatre—get cut from student schedules because there simply is not enough time in the day. How can schools create more time in the schedule so that students have access to valuable arts education opportunities and are able to fulfill the "F" Requirement? The answer is not actually more time, but instead a shift in the master schedule!

Amador Adopts the Declaration of Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

The Challenge: How to Energize Support for Arts Education among your School Board, School Administration, and district Parents

The Strategy: Ask the School Board to Adopt the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

The Story: The Amador Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy coalition working to increase access to the arts education, was looking for a way to gain visibility and inspire district leaders to take action. Faced with this challenge, the group turned to the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.

Student Advocacy Success Story by Xochitl Morales

Hi. My name is Xochitl Morales, and I am a 17-year-old high school student from a small town in the Central Valley. I go to a school in Delano that you may know as either Paramount Bard, Paramount Academy, or Wonderful College Preparatory Academy (what we are called now). When I first started going to my school in sixth grade, it was called Paramount Bard.

At that time, it had only existed for three years, but it proved to be a leader in the arts education scene. We had mariachi, choir, animation, visual design, and theater classes, as well as an entire block in our schedule dedicated to creating in any club we chose. We also had a collaboration with the prestigious Longy Conservatory of Music that allowed many of us to travel across the country to share what we were learning.

Our school was blossoming with passion and creativity.

However, four years later, after two name changes and several administration re-assignments, this was all gone. We were left with only one Art Appreciation class - just enough to fulfill our A-G high school requirements. Being an artist, I was saddened to the core as I witnessed the change in atmosphere on my campus. School became less focused on the students’ development as expressive humans, and more focused on the test scores used to academically rank local high school campuses.

Orcutt Union School District Uses Schedule Rotation to Support Music Education

The Challenge: How to deploy limited resources to serve high needs students and establish a sustainable elementary music program that serves every student

The Strategy: Create a schedule rotation of P.E., music and intervention to achieve smaller class size and arts instruction for all students 

The Story: The Orcutt Union School District, located in Santa Barbara county, includes five elementary schools, two middle schools, one K-8 school and two K-8 and one high school charter schools. Faced with the challenge of a tight budget and looking for a way to address the needs of a student population with a high number of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the district needed to use their existing funds in a creative way. 

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