We stay on top of the latest trends, opportunities and threats in our field. Our newsletter provides a digest of current arts education headlines; our Legislative Update tracks bills in the California Legislature that could impact arts programs in our schools; and, our blog offers an in depth view or opinion on current policy issues. Below are the latest news stories about our work.  

Alliance Joins LCAP Watch

The California Alliance for Arts Education is proud to partner with Education Trust-West on LCAP Watch, an effort aimed at creating public transparency into school district plans and budgets. It will gather completed LCAPs in a central location online to facilitate analysis, monitoring and accountability around these plans.

According to Education Trust-West,

“When Governor Jerry Brown dramatically reformed school funding in 2013, he also required that school districts engage in an open, transparent, and public budgeting and planning process. A central component of this is the Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP. The LCAP is the district’s 3-year plan for how it will use state funding to serve all students, including low-income students, English learners, and foster youth.

In the LCAP, the district presents its goals, actions, and expenditures. The district must describe what needs each goal addresses and the metrics being used to measure progress. After 2014-15, districts will report how the actions presented in the LCAP have improved outcomes for students.”

LCAP Watch is managed by the Education Trust–West and represents a coalition of partner organizations, including the Alliance who share our commitment to transparency. Many of these partners have also helped make the content possible.

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Alliance Joins LCAP Watch

The California Alliance for Arts Education is proud to partner with Education Trust-West on LCAP Watch, an effort aimed at creating public transparency into school district plans and budgets. It will gather completed LCAPs in a central location online to facilitate analysis, monitoring and accountability around these plans.

According to Education Trust-West, Read Story about Alliance Joins LCAP Watch

Increase Arts Funding for California

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The State Legislative Budget Conference Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the increase in state arts funding that was recommended by the Assembly earlier this month. This is first chance in over a decade to restore funding for the arts in our state! Please send a letter by end of day today.

Visit the Californians for the Arts website for a template and more information. Personalised letter are the most effective. Below are two sample letters sent my the California Alliance for Arts Education.  Read Story about Increase Arts Funding for California

Student Videos Envision "A world of possibility and hope"

(pictured on left) Josey McCall, senior at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, CA.

As local districts set priorities and funding allocations to comply with California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), young advocates can offer powerful evidence of the ways arts education empowers young people to be creative problem-solvers, effective communicators and critical thinkers. The Student Voices Campaign gives students a platform to demonstrate their creative power and passion for the arts with their elected officials.

Eric Nilsson, a principal at the Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, California, whose students are participating in the campaign, says: “Arts in education is absolutely critical to all of us.  It nurtures the imagination, ignites creativity, and fosters curiosity and innovation. These things – imagination, creativity, curiosity and innovation – bring our young people alive and help them to see a world of possibility and hope.”

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U.S. Dept of Ed Supports Arts Education in Title 1 Program

At this year’s National Title I Conference, Dr. Monique Chism, Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education, took a stand for arts education within the Title I program. Not only did she share her conviction that “arts education ensures that underserved students in public schools, particularly low income students and English-learners do better in school and [...] have the greatest relative improvements in academic achievement when participating in arts programs,” but she also shared a personal story of how the arts impacted her as a young person. (See video below).

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2014 Student Voices Campaign Launches!

The Student Voices Campaign launching on March 1. 2014, gives students a platform to demonstrate their creative power and passion for the arts with their elected officials. Students are invited to upload original videos of two minutes or less that respond to the question ‘What Does Your Creativity Look Like?’ at http://studentvoicescampaign.org/ between March 1 May 31, 2014. Students can sing, speak, dance, animate, act, speak or paint their answers.

As local districts set priorities and funding allocations to comply with California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), young advocates can offer powerful evidence of the ways that arts education empower and equip young people for a successful future.

For the second year of the campaign the California Alliance for Arts Education is pleased to partner with some of the state’s leading arts leaders, including the CalArts Community Arts Partnership, the California State Summer School for the Arts, Center Theatre Group, Inner City Arts, Inocente, Shine Global’s Academy Award-winning documentary and Venice Arts.  

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Opinion: Why students make the best arts education advocates

There’s an irony surrounding education reform and advocacy.  Namely, that the beneficiaries of so much work and effort – the students -- are rarely consulted. 

Granted, student involvement in education reform has its limitations. Most students in the K-12 public education system cannot vote. As full time students, there sometimes aren’t enough hours in the day for sleeping let alone effective advocacy.  But most importantly, many students think their voices don’t have the weight that adult voices do. This last reason is the easiest to change because it’s simply not true. 

Arts education is exalted as a way to find your voice. So why not allow studentS to speak up for their right to keep speaking? Interning at the California Alliance after years of being a student involved in a public school’s drama, dance, and choir programs made me realize arts advocacy doesn’t have to (and arguably shouldn’t) be as exclusive as it may seem.


SO WHAT EXACTLY MAKES STUDENTS THE BEST ADVOCATES FOR ARTS EDUCATION? 

Student Voices Video Makers Win Adobe Software for their Schools


Last month marked the close of the Alliance’s Student Voices campaign, which gave students from all over California a platform to share their creativity and passion for the arts with their legislators. Our first-ever student video campaign drew an inspired array of submissions that showcased the artistry, hard work and zeal of student artists.

Thanks to a generous donations from Adobe, the students whose videos received the most likes have won free Adobe software for their schools.
 
Melody Lee and Irene Lee, students at the Orange County for the Arts took first place and a video created by Michelle Coder and Cody Watson in partnership students at Ridgepoint School, a middle school in Sacramento, came in second. Congratulations to both on their unique vidoes and their successful efforts to spread the word about the campaign on social media. 
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Alliance Releases Policy Paper on Title 1 & Arts Education

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.

ALLIANCE PRESENTS SERIES OF REGIONAL CONVENINGS ON ARTS Education and TITLE I

The California Alliance is hosting regional convenings planned to help California schools and districts understand the appropriate use of arts strategies within the Title I program.

In the coming months, we will travel to Sonoma, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Sacramento to share strategies for increasing student engagement, academic achievement, parent involvement and other Title 1 goals through the arts. School principals, district administrators, financial officers, school site council members and categorical funding experts are invited to attend and will receive information on best practices and research that can be used to support these efforts including a step-by-step walkthrough of how arts strategies can be included in a school site plan.

The scheduled convenings are the following:

  1. Alameda: Friday, April 25, 2014 1-3p.m., Alameda County Office of Education, 313 W. Winton Ave, room L2 Hayward, CA 94544 Register. Event Flyer. 
  2. Sacramento: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Sacramento County Office of Education, 8:30 AM: Breakfast and Networking 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Meeting Register. 

* The admission to all the listed events is FREE

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