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Joint Committee on the Arts Hearing Streamed Live

On April 18, Senator Curren Price, chairman of the Joint Committee on the Arts, convened a hearing titled The Arts, Creativity, and Innovation in the 21st Century Classroom: How to Paint a Canvas for Success.

Experts from the field presented information on the value of creativity and the arts and explored the ways we can provide opportunities for innovation and creativity to flourish in California classrooms. 

Sarah Murr, Community Investor for The Boeing Company and California Alliance Board Member, offered testimony about preparing students with the creativity skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy.  Read her testimony

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."  

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. 

Low-income students are entitled to arts funding

Right now, California is one of a handful of states that has resisted using federal Title 1 funds for arts education.

Despite evidence that arts education contributes to lower drop out rates and higher academic achievement, which are the stated goals of the Title 1 program, California education leadership has failed to support Title 1 funding for arts education and at-risk students in our state are going without.

Read California Alliance for Arts Education Executive Director Joe Landon’s letter to the editor to learn more.

It's All About Creativity

According to John Eger's newest blog in the Huffington Post, "Clearly something big is happening across America" and that something is creativity. Next week, arts education stakeholders from all over California will gather in Coronado to talk about "how the arts and creative education can transform California classrooms."  Next month, the California Legislative Joint Committee on the Arts will hold hearings on SB 789, legislation that will require the Governor to develop a "creativity index," which in turn would be used to measure creativity in public schools statewide. SB 789 was authored by Senator Curren Price of the 26th Senatorial District and sponsored by the California Alliance.

Local Advocacy in Stanislaus: How to Engage Parents

The Challenge: How do you connect with parents across a large, rural county with twenty-three separate school districts?

The Strategy: Invite parents to an event featuring resources for advocacy and a free night of theater.

The Story: When the Stanislaus Alliance for Arts Education launched last fall, it was clear that parents were key to preserving or expanding arts education in Stanislaus schools.

“We saw right away that the districts that had arts programs were the ones where parents were involved -- through booster clubs, PTAs or education foundations,” says Patty Larrick, the local organizer for the Stanislaus Alliance. “Our challenge was to bring all these different groups together, in order to share best practices and coordinate efforts.” 

Stanislaus Alliance Urges Parents to Join Advocacy Efforts

The new Stanislaus Alliance for Arts Education encouraged parents to get more involved in promoting arts at their schools at an event this month. 

"When programs are in danger, it's the parents and only the parents that save them," Patty Larrick, the alliance coordinator, told people at a parents forum at the Gallo Center for the Arts.

Working in partnership with the Gallo Center, the Stanislaus Alliance organized and event at which parents could find out how to get more involved in local advoacy efforts, as enjoy master storyteller, in performance at the Center. 

The event attracted over forty community members and was covered in the Modesto Bee. Read the story.

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."

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