CAAE blog archive is located here.

2011

How Music Education Helps Students Succeed
October 8, 2011

Music Matters, a new publication from the Arts Education Partnership, shows conclusively that: music education equips students to learn; music education facilitates student academic achievement; and music education develops the creative capacities for lifelong success.

 AEP reviewed an extensive body of research to identify high-quality, evidence-based studies that document student learning outcomes associated with an education in and through music. Read Music Matters.

The Alliance's new Executive Director, Joe Landon
September 20, 2011

Los Angeles, CA, July 7, 2011 - The Board of Directors of the California Alliance for Arts Education has named Joe Landon the organization’s new executive director, effective August 1. Landon currently serves as policy director for the Alliance.  He will replace Laurie Schell, who has served as executive director for the past ten years.

“I am honored that our Board of Directors has entrusted me to guide California’s leading policy and advocacy organization,” said Landon. “At this challenging time for our public education system, the Alliance is committed to ensuring that every student receive the benefits of a well rounded curriculum that cultivates creativity.” ...
How will AB 165 affect your school district?
June 30, 2011

AB 165 Targets School Fees

AB 165, the Constitutional Free Public Education Guarantee, authored by Ricardo Lara, is currently moving through the legislature, having passed the Assembly by a 50-17 vote. It is now being heard in the Senate, and in all likelihood will end up on Governor Brown’s desk for his signature to make it law before the end of the year. The bill has implications for the delivery of arts education programs, potentially impacting the collection of fees for materials in visual arts classes, instrument rental for school bands or orchestras, etc. For that reason we wanted to provide some perspective on the bill’s content and suggestions as to how school districts and schools might respond to its restrictions if it becomes law.

Despite our concerns with regard to its enforcement if AB 165 is enacted into law, the Committee on Legislation for the California Alliance voted not to take a position on the bill. We recognize and support the principle of a free education for every student and encourage schools and districts to find compatible solutions to provide access to quality arts education.

Summary language, intended to capture the spirit of the bill, states,

“The bill would provide that this...

Science Teachers Love Art
April 7, 2011

By John M. Eger. Re-printed with permission from John M. Eger.

There is a growing debate in America about art and science.

Explaining the Universe: Why Arts Education and Science Education Need Each Other author, scientist, and educator, Alan Friedman, says, “I am a science educator who finds this story (of the Universe) deeply fascinating and profound.” But most children do not know this story. ‘The solution is not just finding more good science teachers and developing good science curricula, but also encouraging more and better arts education.”

Recently, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), issued a paper called “Reaching Students Through STEM and the Arts.”

The paper states, “Teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are discovering that by adding an “A” — the arts — to STEM, learning will pick up STEAM.”

They are of course talking about former president George W. Bush’s initiative called the America Competes Act, also known...

One Superintendent’s Vision
February 10, 2011

Opening Remarks at the Launch of the Alliance for Arts Education in Humboldt County, on January 27, 2011

By Garry T. Eagles, Ph.D., Superintendent, Humboldt County Office of Education

Editor’s note: The California Alliance for Arts Education in Humboldt County is one of the 25 Local Advocacy Network coalitions sponsored by the Alliance in our efforts to build advocacy capacity at the local level. Read more about our Local Advocacy Network.

“Welcome to the Breakfast Gathering of the California Alliance for Arts Education/Humboldt County.

I want to thank all of you for your willingness to spend some of your valuable time today hearing about the various ways in which the community as a whole can help insure that a rich, meaningful, education is provided for all children by keeping the arts alive and flourishing in our schools.

The Humboldt County Office of Education is pleased to support and participate in this Alliance. Our commitment to the arts extends over three decades, beginning with our sponsorship of one of California’s first model arts...

Measuring Creativity and Innovation in California Schools
February 4, 2011

By Laurie Schell and Joe Landon, California Alliance for Arts Education

Last week Senator Curren Price introduced Senate Bill 789, sponsored by the California Alliance for Arts Education, which will establish an Advisory Council charged with crafting a creative and innovative education index for schools. The index would provide schools and districts throughout California with an opportunity to share evidence of how they are cultivating creativity and innovation as part of a comprehensive education.

What is a Creativity and Innovation Index?
A creativity and innovation index would provide a way for schools to rate their progress in teaching, encouraging and fostering creativity in students. Index scores would be voluntarily compiled by school and district staff from a survey of curricula and teacher reports. It would quantify the opportunities in each school as measured by the availability of classes and before and after-school programs offered by and through school districts that nurture creativity and innovation in students. Examples might include visual and performing arts education classes...

There’s a new Superintendent of Public Instruction in town…
January 11, 2011

by Joe Landon, Policy Director

Just three days after Tom Torlakson was installed as California’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction, his chief deputy, Richard Zeiger, met with the Policy Council of the California Alliance in Sacramento, to discuss the state of education in California, with a particular focus on arts education.

The previous day Torlakson had described California’s school finances as being at the level of ‘emergency’. Zeiger explained that before anything can be done to improve the education outlook, Governor Brown will first deal with the current budget crisis facing the state. He anticipated that education spending for the current year would remain the same as the past year, provided that California’s voters approve revenues in a special election later this year. He noted that we, as the public who cares about quality education for California students, will need to take an active role in assuring the approval of revenues in the special election.

Zeiger was upbeat in his assessment that for the first time in many years, the Superintendent, the State Board of Education, the Governor and the Legislature are in alignment about the need to advance education.

He explained that approximately 70% of the Department of...

2010

Results of Arts Ed Survey Go Beyond the Election
December 14, 2010

This fall, the California Alliance undertook its first ever arts education survey of candidates for the November 2010 election. Members of our Local Advocacy Network secured the participation of school board candidates in over forty school districts. Candidates answered questions about policy as well as their personal experiences with the arts. The results were posted in early October, but the positive impact of this work is ongoing. Members of our Local Advocacy Network share some of the continuing benefits of the survey.

Increased Visibility Make the Arts Matter

Pat Wayne, Director of Programs and Education for Arts Orange County and the Orange County Organizer for the Local Advocacy Network: In the twenty-nine districts we surveyed in Orange County, we saw a clear advantage for districts that participated in the Local Advocacy Network. These had a better rate of participation among candidates (70%, as opposed to 59%) and even more striking, in these Local Advocacy Network districts, 88% of candidates who were elected had participated in the survey, as opposed to 53%, in districts that were not a part of the Local Advocacy Network. This shows us that...

Working with Elected Officials Parts 1 & 2
November 9, 2010

By Victoria Plettner-Saunders

Part 1 – What I Did on My Summer Vacation, or the Practical Application of Arts Education Advocacy

My name is Victoria Plettner-Saunders and I am one of the founders of the San Diego Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy network initiated by the California Alliance for Arts Education. While our formal alliance launch was in May of 2010, we actually began to gain recognition for arts education advocacy with the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) in June 2009 when we successfully convinced the SDUSD School Board to remove the Visual and Performing Arts Department (VAPA) from a list of things to eliminate to save money. At that time, we were a consistent presence at school board meetings and our message was clear: a) we want to be in partnership with the district on arts education issues and b) “We aren’t going away.” Here’s what that meant in reality.

In May we officially launched the San Diego Alliance for Arts Education and invited the school board president Richard Barrera to talk to our invited guests about the status of arts education in the District. By July, I’m in his speed dial and he was calling for my help. The school board is voting on Tuesday to put forth a ballot measure for a parcel...

A “Both/And” Approach to CTE and VAPA
October 21, 2010

By Mark Slavin, Vice President of Education
Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County and
Board Chair, California Alliance for Arts Education

The California Alliance for Arts Education was very pleased to see the Governor veto AB 2446 (Furutani). This measure would have watered-down California’s already weak high school graduation requirements by allowing students to take a career technical education course, in lieu of a course in the arts or foreign language. The battle over this legislation is part of an ongoing debate about the role and purpose of public high schools. Specifically, what is the proper balance between preparing students for college and providing tangible employment skills to help students gain jobs right out of high school? Or is this a false choice? Can we imagine high schools in which every course engages kids in project-based learning, real world applications, and the development of tangible skills for the workplace?

It was unfortunate that the battle over AB 2446 placed advocates for arts education and advocates for career and technical education in opposing camps. In fact, many of us want the same thing – high schools that offer diverse options for students to find their passion and explore specific career paths...

Pages