LAUSD Releases Plan to Invigorate Arts Education Districtwide

Mon, 08/12/2013 - 11:16am

Photo: LAUSD Arts PlanThis story has been updated from the version released in last week's issue of Relay.

LAUSD’s Arts Education Branch released the long-awaited report on how the district should go about restoring its arts education plan in alignment with the board’s unanimously approved resolution nicknamed “Arts at the Core.” That resolution ensured arts education funding could not be cut disproportionately to other core disciplines while advancing an ambitious strategy to provide arts ed instruction to all 700,000 of its students.

The "Arts Education and Creative Cultural Network Plan" puts forward a strategy to supplement full-time arts education instruction with arts integration strategies and community partnerships that leverage Los Angeles's world class arts and culture communities for the benefit of the nation's second largest school district.

“The Arts and Creative Cultural Network Plan is important to the students of LAUSD for so many reasons," said Dr. John Deasy, LAUSD's superintendent. "The arts are a powerful catalyst for learning and achieving. This innovative arts plan represents a multidimensional 21st century approach to fostering creative problem solving and artistic expression in every student. It does not restrict learning in the arts to only one carved out block of time every day or every week. Rather, it infuses the arts throughout and beyond the learning day. It calls upon community collaborators to be a regular part of arts education. Students will have the opportunity to express themselves creatively during their studies of mathematics, the sciences, history & the social sciences, and language arts—both English & world languages. The plan is timely with the adoption of the Common Core Standards, the rollout of new technology in the classroom and other District initiatives. None of this is being done in isolation. The arts plan is an integral part of a carefully crafted District plan to provide the very best possible education to all of our students in LAUSD. I see it as their right.”

Dr. Steven J. McCarthy serves as the K-12 arts coordinator for LAUSD.  Of the plan's strenghths, he had this to say: "“The arts demand collaboration.  With this in mind, I strongly believe that the greatest strength of the Arts Education and Creative Cultural Network Plan is the emphasis on collaboration.  The economy will continue to fluctuate and people will come and go, but these changes should not be allowed to hold our students hostage.  If we can successfully establish a culture in which arts education is seen as the responsibility of all the players, an arts program will not cease if a strong teacher retires.  If it does, there never really was a program; rather, there was a strong teacher at a particular school.  The plan imbeds the establishment and nurturing of a greater arts community—a carefully crafted network of players designed to ensure arts education for all LAUSD students today and in the future.”

Arts for LA congratulates LAUSD for its historic ongoing reinvigoration of the arts in its district.  Over the next five to ten years, LAUSD will have included arts education as part of the complete education it provides each and every student.  Learn more about the plan here.