CREATE CA teams innovative thinkers from multiple sectors of California’s creative economy, public and private, to rethink and create an educational environment for all California students that features arts education as a central part of the solution to the crisis in our schools.
—and the challenge
Inspired by the work of the National Endowment for the Arts and its national Education Leaders Institute (ELI), the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Arts Council (CAC) have developed a formal collaboration to advance shared goals for the California Challenge…a statement drafted during the California delegation’s attendance at ELI 2011.
“Ensure each student reaches his or her full potential by broadening California’s educational vision, policy, and practices to promote innovation, economic development, and creativity.”
In May 2011, the California delegates returned from the rich and highly-focused national ELI meeting energized to set in motion a series of forums and ongoing conversations to advance an arts and creative education agenda for the state, strategies deemed essential to meeting the Challenge. This work is now being pursued under the umbrella of “CREATE CA.”
Along with the CDE and the CAC, the coalition is led jointly by the California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE), the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), and the greater arts education community. The CREATE CA coalition believes the state finds itself in a unique “window of opportunity.” The changes in leadership in the Governor’s office, and at the CDE and the CAC provide an opportunity to broaden California’s educational vision, policy and practice, and to work at reversing the negative impact of narrow, test-driven educational policies.
The Planning Team convened forums between 2011 and 2013 to introduce the issues to a wider stakeholders group. A newly appointed, joint CDE- and CAC-sponsored “Arts Education Taskforce” was established to create a new policy document, the Blueprint for Creative Schools (“the Blueprint”).
The Taskforce is working in nine policy groups to contribute to the draft Blueprint (anticipated to be published by 2014). The policy groups include:
- Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
- Educator Quality and Professional Preparation
- Equity and Access
- Policy and Politics
- Research and Evidence Building
- Role of Business and Industry in Building the Creative Workforce
- School Finance and Sustainability
- Strengthening Collaborative Relationships
- Teacher and School Development
The Blueprint is just the first collaborative project of the coalition, and it will help to guide the subsequent work of CREATE CA and its partners. Some further important policy and planning work is already underway or in development, including:
- Expansion of high school graduation requirements in arts subjects
- Support for broad-based inclusion of arts and creative education in pre-service teacher preparation programs
- Insurance that the arts and creative education are properly included in the anticipated updates and revisions to California’s school assessment system
- Embedding of the arts with Common Core State Standards (new design work underway with support from Hewlett Foundation)
- Strengthening of the arts’ connections to Career Technical Education and Linked Learning/Multiple Pathways
- Evaluation of possible ballot measures to raise education funding, including funds for arts education
- Support for teachers and administrators’ continuing education programs in arts education
- Establishment of Dance and Theater teaching credentials (in addition to the existing Visual Art and Music credentials)
- Expanded engagement of parents and business leaders in advocacy for arts education and creative schools