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: Duarte Unified School District

Fall 2013 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Duarte 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.

The California Alliance for Arts Education and LA2050 served as Regional Partners by promoting Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys throughout Los Angeles County.

Elections for Duarte Unified School District will be held on Tuesday, November 5.

2 seats are available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

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: Kenneth Morgan Bell, Reyna E. Diaz, Jim M. Dinsmore**, A. David Hall**, Jack Ochoa, Dolores Ortiz**

**Candidate has no email address available; contact the Los Angeles County Clerk/Registrar-Recorder's Office for contact info

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

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As a poverty level income family, we never took music lessons and/or had programs in school that would encourage me to learn music. We moved to Glendale CA where my middle school Vice Principal recommended that I take a basic music class in the 9th Grade. In high school, I joined the Acapella Choir and had the opportunity to travel to places I only saw in books: Vancouver, Canada, Hawaii, San Francisco. Years later, I realized just how much music helped shape my learning and focus.

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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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Encouraging the children of Duarte Unified School District to be creative is key to their success in the long-term and short-term. We need to help them “think outside the box” and to use logic and creative reasoning to help them become a well rounded student. It is equally important to encourage students to visit museums and attend music performances to show them that many types of art exist. I would also like to see parents and teachers encourage the students to be creative and actively participate in the learning process.

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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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The current weakness of the plan is the lack of ease in gaining access to the plan. The plan needs to be clear, transparent and viewable to allow the community to share their ideas, support and buy in. Ideally, using the arts to help students move easily from step to step at their pace in order to create a solid base and fully understand some basic principles of learning.

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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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Details of the process being used and who is actively involved in establishing the plan needs to be communicated to the parents and/or posted on the Duarte Unified School District. Creating visibility to the arts program by highlighting student exhibitions and/or presentations at existing community events. Inviting parents and community leaders to come out to become actively involved in the art programs available to Duarte Unified School District will help achieve buy in form the community.

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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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Arts education will help students who learn in non traditional methods of learning by providing multimedia education. Additionally, the arts can help make classes more interactive which will encourage students to attend and participate in class regularly which will impact low attendance and/or dropping out of school all together. Providing educators with artistic expression in their teaching curriculum will allow teachers to inject their creativity in the classroom in new and innovative ways.

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