Arts for LA Releases School Board Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys

Arts for LA Releases School Board Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 10:03am

Photo: ArtsVoteLAWith an estimated $5.3 billion in educational funding set to invigorate California’s schools due to Proposition 30, school board leaders will be tasked with setting the priorities and direction for their schools’ future.  To help spark dialogue around arts and education issues, Arts for LA has distributed Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys to every eligible candidate for election in 33 school district races throughout Lo

Fall 2013 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Manhattan Beach Unified School District

As part of its work to connect voters and candidates, Arts for LA presents these Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys to promote dialogue around issues related to arts education and its benefits.

Survey responses provided by each candidate are for voter information purposes only. Arts for LA does not endorse candidates seeking office. We are committed to fostering respectful, nonpartisan dialogue about issues relating to arts and culture. For more information, please read about our mission and values or our FAQ.

All eligible candidates were contacted to participate in the survey. If you would like to submit new or revise existing responses, please contact Arts for LA at advocate@artsforla.org or 213-225-7580.

For more information on where to vote, visit the Los Angeles County Clerk/Registrar-Recorder’s Office website.

If a candidate has not yet responded, please click on the candidate's name below to invite the candidate via email to participate.

Candidate order: Jennifer P. Cochran, Christine Cronin-Hurst, Kathleen Paralusz, Ellen Rosenberg

Question 1: Tell us about a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music) while growing up?

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My mother was an art major at UCLA and taught art at Banning High School in the '50s. Throughout my childhood I observed and participated with her painting, drawing, and creating. It was a formative experience for me.

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Question 2: What role do you think creativity can play in supporting key priorities of the district, such as reducing the dropout rate, closing the achievement gap, and preparing more students for college eligibility and/or meaningful careers?

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MBUSD is a high achieving district. The vast majority of our students will matriculate to 4 or 2 year colleges. Our district goals for 2013-14 include continued focus on the 21st Century learning components of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. Fostering creativity through artistic expression engages our students. An engaged student is a successful student.

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Question 3: Your district has embarked on an initiative to restore meaningful sequential arts education into its core curriculum. What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the plan?

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Our district has maintained a robust arts program K-12 largely through the generosity of private donations to our local education foundation. We are fortunate to have elementary instrumental music and choir programs which feed highly successful middle and high school programs. Our secondary school drama and dance programs are of equal quality. If there is a weakness it may be in the area of visual arts, and we endeavor to improve.

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Question 4: How can your district make your arts education plan and its progress on the plan more visible to parents and leaders in your community?

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I feel that our arts education is visible to parents and leaders in our community. There is always room for improvement, and communication is key to raising awareness. We currently communicate with our parents via live information sessions, electronic communications and social media. We have arts outreach into our parent and non-parent communities. One example, is our older adults program. We offer free tickets to dramatic and music performances with the cooperation of the city which provides dial a ride transportation to these events. We host annual art awards ceremonies and exhibitions of our high school advanced art students which are presented both on our campuses and in our city community centers.

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Question 5: In light of the new funding structure for school districts in the state (i.e. the Local Control Funding Formula), how do you see arts education aligning with the eight new priority areas?

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There is much that remains to be seen with the LCFF. Our district will receive no supplemental funding through LCFF. However, our arts programs will continue to thrive through district and local support.

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