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There’s a new Superintendent of Public Instruction in town…

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.

Results of Arts Ed Survey Go Beyond the Election

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.

Working with Elected Officials Parts 1 & 2

By Victoria Plettner-Saunders

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

A “Both/And” Approach to CTE and VAPA

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

Student Arts Advocates: “You Need to Be an Arts Advocate”

A few months ago, the Alliance was contacted by Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA), based at Columbia University. We’re delighted to share their terrific advocacy video, “You Need to Be an Arts Advocate” as well as some lessons learned from outgoing SAA president Jonathan Lewis.

What Exactly Does the Superintendent of Public Instruction Do?

The Survey: This month, the California Alliance for Arts Education conducted a survey of candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction. It asked candidates to respond to go on record about a variety of issues related to arts education, including access, assessment and workforce preparation. The survey is intended to provide voters with information about how these candidates might impact arts education policy and implementation as superintendent.

Well-Rounded Curriculum in the Spotlight as ESEA Re-Write Gains Momentum

By Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy for the League of American Orchestras and Co-Chair of the ad-hoc National Arts Education Policy Working Group.

How will the next version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) support access to the arts as part of a well-rounded education for every child? This month the Administration, Congress, and arts education advocates have advanced the conversation. Now is a critical time for arts advocates to engage in the real heart of the debate.

You Asked: Advocacy Tips for your District

Whether you are just getting started, or have been at it a while, organizing successful advocacy in your district can be tough. Earlier this month we brought together advocates from all over the state for a webinar, Standing Up for Arts Education. Veterans from the field offered tips on the basics, from building a team, crafting effective messages to picking the right targets. Participants asked questions and posited next steps.

Articulating the Value of Arts Education to Corporate Funders

By Jason Pugatch, Associate Director, Young Storytellers Foundation

It’s one of the great anomalies of our society that the arts are both valued and underfunded; both praised and looked upon as a frivolity.  A Harris Poll found that 93% of Americans find arts education to be a vital part of a well-rounded education. A visit to the opera or a museum opening continues to carry social caché.

Are Public-Private Partnerships the Way Forward?

In recent years, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) has put together an innovative program called My Masterpieces: Discovering Art in My Community, which capitalizes on local art institutions through field trips and specifically co-designed K-6 visual art curriculum. With California facing a fiscal meltdown and harrowing cycles of budget cuts, we wondered if these kinds of public-private models offer a viable way to build sustainable arts education programs. We spoke with Marshall Ayers, the Arts Education Coordinator for the district, to learn more.

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