April 25, 2012: A state-wide initiative CREATE CA (Core Reforms Engaging Arts To Educate) hopes to restore art education to the public schools, backed by the California Arts Council, the California Department of Education, the California Alliance for Arts Education, and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.
Reported by Jill Tucker for the San Francisco Chronicle:
The idea is to bring together those who have labored independently for arts education. Participants want to pass legislation, increase funding and raise public awareness.
Those behind the effort - including artists, educators and executives - believe California now has enough supportive policymakers and the right mix of corporate backing and political will for the idea to succeed where similar efforts have floundered.
To that end, the effort includes incorporating art into the state's scorecard used to evaluate schools, an idea already included in two bills pending in the state Legislature (both currently in the Assembly Committee on Education).
AB 2361 by Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) would encourage schools to include the number of visual and performing arts classes offered in the school accountability report card (SARC); SARC provides information about individual schools allowing the public to evaluate and compare schools for student achievement, environment, resources and demographics.
SB 789 by state Senator Curren Price (D-Culver City) would require the development of a voluntary Creative and Innovative Education Index as measurement of the creative opportunities in each participating school; it is not yet decided how this index might be included in the Academic Performance Index (API), currently based solely on standardized test scores that focus heavily on Math and English, but it aims to give schools an incentive to build creativity into all areas of the curriculum.
...reforms could include requiring more art classes for a high school diploma; mandatory art training for new teachers; a tax increase to fund art education; and the creation of theater and dance teaching credentials
The California Arts Council has begun an advertising campaign to promote an arts-themed license plate to raise $40 million annually for public art and arts education.