Making Arts a Key Component of Curricula

News: Photo of an elementary student painting

A new report offers policy recommendations to make the arts a central component of curricula in California’s public schools.

A Blueprint for Creative Schools: A Report to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson by the Arts Education Task Force (PDF) makes the case for why the arts are important for lifelong learning, the development of 21st century skills, and college and career readiness.

The report, published by CREATE CA, addresses key themes such as:

  • Enhancing Educator Quality, Preparation, and Professional Learning in the Arts
  • Expanding the Role of Business and Industry in the Creative Work Force
  • Producing High-Quality Arts Assessment, Research, and Evidence

For the latter theme above, WestEd’s Sharon Herpin and her fellow contributors offered recommendations, including those below, to the California State Board of Education and the California Department of Education:

  • Develop standards-based performance assessments that schools can use to assess students’ abilities to carry out grade-appropriate activities related to visual arts, music, theater, and dance.
  • Establish a practical, centrally supported digital platform for vetting and disseminating research findings, and for driving communication among educators, policymakers, and community stakeholders.

Herpin, a Senior Research Associate with WestEd’s Evaluation Research Program, was appointed to the California State Superintendent’s Task Force for Creative Schools in 2012. Herpin was also part of the Public Accountability Task Force to generate ideas for implementing the Blueprint for Creative Schools.

Herpin recently attended a CREATE CA convening, and presented a session on Policy Recommendations for a Statewide Assessment System in the Arts. Participants discussed how to implement the Blueprint recommendations across the various agencies and stakeholders represented.

WestEd’s Janice L. Agee edited the Blueprint for Creative Schools. Download today.

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