california music education

Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema

Despite overhauling school funding and updating requirements for arts education, California has lagged behind in its efforts to meet its own educational standards.

Create CA announced the release of a new report from SRI Education. It provides a snapshot of student access to state-mandated arts education in California public schools. Numerous studies continue to show that arts education is essential for academic success, readiness for today’s jobs, civic engagement, and student well-being. However, California falls short of its own requirements to provide its students with the arts education they need.

The State of Arts Education in California is evaluating data for the 2019-20 school year. It measures how well students have the opportunity to complete the standards-based arts education required by state law. While some schools are making incremental improvements compared to baseline data for the 2005-06 school year, “nearly 9 out of 10 schools” meet state requirements for music, dance, drama and the visual arts. are still not satisfied.

Tom DeCigny, Executive Director of Create CA, said: “Quality arts education requires time devoted to the curriculum, well-trained teachers, and supplies and facilities. We have not fulfilled our mission to prepare for power.”

Among key findings on changes in access to the arts education from 2006 to 2020, only 11% of California schools teach the four arts disciplines mandated by state law (music, dance, drama, visual arts). The number did not change between the two study periods. Additionally, the proportion of individual schools offering standards-based instruction in at least one arts field increased from 71% to 79%.

Primary schools and schools with a high proportion of children from low-income households are generally unable to provide access to arts education. High school makes him more than twice as likely to provide access to courses in the four arts disciplines than middle school or elementary school.

“Coming back from COVID, we have found that art classes play an important role in supporting the mental health of students and promoting overall academic performance,” said the Los Angeles County Department of Education’s Arts and Sciences. Jeannine Flores, STEAM Coordinator and Chair of Create CA, said: board. “School districts are beginning to partner with local arts organizations and are exploring ways to flexibly use state and federal funding to ensure that students receive the quality education they deserve.”

Educators and policy makers have advocated for greater access to arts education at the state level, leading to policy changes and increased access described in the report. This report specifically addresses the need to expand opportunities for teacher training in all areas of arts education, either by building existing teachers or through new pipelines to bring qualified arts teachers into the classroom. attention.

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