Every student has the right to a dynamic, creative education, and California Education Code requires it. Yet 88% of California schools are failing to meet this standard.
This. Must. Change.
Creativity is not optional! Creativity supports academic success — students who have an arts education are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, receive a bachelor’s degree, receive more A’s in classes, and are more inclined to pursue a professional career.
That’s why California State PTA joined forces with Create CA to launch one of the most impactful efforts in recent history to demand arts education for all students: the Public Will Campaign. Its goal is to spark action among the public, parents, educators, artists and policymakers to demand a comprehensive, sequential arts curriculum for all children in grades K-12.
The campaign is currently building a base of engaging, passionate people – on the local level – across the state. Sign up and learn more at www.createca.org. Use your voice for arts education for all students!
ARTS EQUITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Your PTA, school, and community partners can ask your school district to become an Arts Equity School District. What does this mean? Well, you can decide what it means, whether it’s more funding, more professional development for staff, or more dedicated rehearsal, studio, and practice space in more schools. Alameda County School District, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Santa Ana Unified School District, San Francisco School District and others have all become Arts Equity Districts, and are making strides toward getting more arts education in their schools.
Here are some steps you can take to encourage your district to become an Arts Equity District:
- Create a community advisory committee with local classroom teachers, arts providers, other PTA leaders, and community advocates.
- Determine what “equity” looks like for your community. Use specific examples.
- Report to your Board of Education and invite them to adopt the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.
- The community advisory group can continue to review arts programs as they are proposed to make sure that they are increasing access to all the arts.
- Promote your great work on social media!
- Click here for more actions you can take.
Let us know what your district is doing to improve equal access to arts education!
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF ALL STUDENTS TO EQUITY IN ARTS LEARNING
California State PTA adopted Create CA’s Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning to reaffirm its commitment to a full curriculum that includes the arts.
This declaration is a great way for parents, schools and districts to focus their understanding of their obligations in relation to arts education (San Francisco Unified School District has even put a poster of the Declaration at every school!):
- All students have the right to participate and succeed in high-quality courses in all the arts disciplines as part of their basic education, regardless of their background, culture, language or place of residence.
- All students have the same right to fully develop their creative potential at every grade level and to not be excluded for any reason.
- All students have the right to engage in arts education that reflects, respects and builds on their culture, language and background.
- All students have the right to receive the resources they need to be successful in their arts studies in dance, music, theater, and media and visual arts, including the right supplies and facilities and specially qualified teachers and curriculum that honors all cultures and languages.
- All students have the right to be supported by leaders in their community and school who understand the benefits of an arts education to prepare them for college, career and life.
- All students have the right to learn and practice the arts in a positive environment where everyone understands and acts on the knowledge that they are engaging in valuable and important work.
PARENTS’ GUIDE TO THE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS IN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
California State PTA and Create CA have also teamed up to offer the Parents’ Guide to the Visual and Performing Arts in California Public Schools. This guide provides an overview of what your child will learn in the arts disciplines of dance, music, theater and the visual arts by the end of each grade level.
By asking about the arts program at your child’s school, you are showing your interest in all students, not just the “talented,” having the opportunity to express their unique individuality through creating and learning in and through the arts.
The information is grouped into four sections:
- Grades K-2 (also available in Spanish)
- Grades 3-5 (also available in Spanish)
- Grades 6-8 (also available in Spanish)
- Grades 9-12 (also available in Spanish)
Download the full guide here:
Learn more about how to use the VAPA guide by watching this informative webinar.
This downloadable poster explores creative industry career possibilities, including the new standard of media arts. Share it with your school community!
OTHER PUBLIC WILL CAMPAIGN RESOURCES FOR PTA LEADERS
Download and print these visuals, graphics and fliers for your next PTA meeting, for social media, or to include in newsletters. Take pictures, post online using the #createca and #PTA4Kids hashtags and let your voice be heard to demand an arts education for every student!