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This chart highlights the priorities for K-12 education established by Governor Brown, along with the Alliance’s perspective on each of those priorities.
Topic Issue/Concern Budget and testing pressures have meant that schools are focusing on language arts and math at the expense of other subjects, including the arts. In the face of budget cuts, pressures to teach to the test, and a drive to provide more flexibility to LEAs, districts are unlikely to increase student access to arts education without a dedicated revenue stream. The trend to provide increased local control and flexibility in meeting the state’s required outcomes has been transmuted to local decisions about which state standards to include, leaving visual and performing arts instruction at the discretion of local decision makers. High dropout rates indicate students are disconnected from their education, seeing no relevance to their lives or experience. Dropout rates indicate disproportionate impact on minority communities. A focus on career and college readiness creates opportunities for both career tech and arts proponents. A danger persists in advancing legislation that promotes career tech at the expense of access to arts education. Standards based education should be provided by highly qualified teachers. Reduced resources for professional development and preservice education for arts teachers threatens the instructional delivery system. Our Position The arts are mandated as “core” curriculum in existing Education Code, not optional electives or enrichment programs. The State must provide appropriate accountability measures for Districts to support the implementation of the California Academic Content Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts and the Visual and Performing Arts Framework.
A More Balanced and Creative School Curriculum
Streamlining Categorical Funding
Preserve Art and Music Block Grant program.
Increasing Local Control for School Districts
For all students to have equitable access, Districts and schools must be held publicly accountable for the quality and scope of arts education provided to their students. Local control must be tied to defined state outcomes for arts education learning. The arts are uniquely positioned to engage students who might otherwise drop out. Quality arts education is an essential component of an educational experience for every student and also strongly linked to jobs and California’s creative economy. Arts education is an essential component of a strong academic foundation, giving students the flexibility for whatever path they choose—whether it is the workforce or a community or four-year college. Credentialed arts educators and wellprepared classroom teachers must be available to provide discrete instruction in the arts and quality arts integration. Credentials for theatre and dance educators must be established to ensure that students receive high quality education.
Improve High School Graduation Rates
High School Student Readiness for College and Career
Highly Qualified Teachers