A Call for inclusion of Media Arts in the California Arts Standards

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This post was updated on 8/27/16 with positive information about media arts being considered for inclusion in the California Arts Standards. The earlier post about media arts being excluded is no longer accurate.

Update 8/27/16

I received the following information from my colleague Dain Olsen, who was the writing chair of the National Core Arts Standards: Media Arts Standards. Dain is currently Lead Teacher/Coordinator of
Multimedia Academy, Belmont HS, LAUSD and Faculty member of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Master of Arts Teaching.

Greetings Media Arts Education Community!
GREAT NEWS!!
Thanks to your rapid and powerful advocacy, I have received the following communication from the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Tom Torlakson (finalized by Jack Mitchell), reassuring the media arts community that he is committed to including Media Arts in the next VAPA standards revision! We are beyond thrilled that this discipline not only will be considered in the revision because it exists in National Core Arts Standards, as it was previously in a similar bill – SB975 – last year, but there is now a stated commitment to “working with the legislature next year to ensure the explicit inclusion of Media Arts in California’s visual and performing arts content standards!”  In other words, there will be Media Arts Standards in the next revision!
This provides a certain platform from Superintendent Torlakson around which we can galvanize this supportive community for the development of these standards, and obviously in advocating, promoting and developing towards Media Arts institutional implementation in California! So, I will be in contact with you all again soon as I will need much assistance now in reaching out to all interested supporters and media arts educators, artists, scholars, organizations, companies and students in order to begin forming this community. I will continue to keep you updated as this work moves forward in the following months and next year.
Spread the news! And many thanks again for your support and attention to this urgent matter!

Dain OlsenMedia Arts Writing Chair, NCCASLead Teacher/CoordinatorMultimedia Academy, Belmont HS, LAUSD

Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Master of Arts Teaching
Hi Dain et al- 
 
The SPI supports the National Core Arts Standards in its entirety and that includes media arts. We understand concerns around the inclusion of media arts in the arts standards and are committed to working with the Legislature next year to ensure the explicit inclusion of media arts in California’s visual and performing arts content standards. 
 
The SPI also supports Assembly Bill 2862, which would authorize an update to the visual and performing arts content standards by January 31, 2019. The current visual and performing arts content standards were last revised in 2001. Since then, California has undergone a major shift in academic content standards with the adoption of new and rigorous standards in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, English language development, and science. The current visual and performing arts content standards need to be updated and the next set of standards should reflect the advances in arts education that make our students ready for college and careers in the 21st century.
 
The bill requires California to use the National Core Arts Standards as the basis for deliberations regarding revisions to the visual and performing arts content standards, which is important since the standards reflect the latest research and information on each subject area, and they are aligned to the Common Core State Standards in ELA and mathematics. For this reason, we are encouraging support AB 2862 of. Without AB 2862, California will lose its opportunity to update its arts standards and once again delay any improvement to the standards.
 
We appreciate the concerns around the inclusion of media arts in the updated arts standards and we are committed to work with the media arts community next year to include media arts in California’s visual and performing arts content standards when it is being considered for an update. However, to do this we must first ensure that AB 2862 is passed out of the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
 
Sue Vang in the Government Affairs Division is the official point person on this and all inquiries, questions, or concerns should be sent to hersvang@cde.ca.gov
 
Jack
 
 
John E. (Jack)Mitchell
Educational Programs Consultant
Arts, Media, and Entertainment
Visual and Performing Arts, Secondary
California Department of Education

 

Older Post – No Longer Accurate (See Updated Post Above)

The following information was recently shared to me by my colleague Dain Olsen, who was the writing chair of the National Core Arts Standards: Media Arts Standards. Dain is currently Lead Teacher/Coordinator of
Multimedia Academy, Belmont HS, LAUSD and Faculty member of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Master of Arts Teaching.

According to Dain, California bill (AB2862) has now passed both the Assembly and Senate that excludes Media Arts from consideration of the California Arts Standards. Governor Brown will soon decide whether to sign or veto the bill, potentially setting a precedent for other states. Dain suggests “this exclusion is a violation of the bill’s own intention to consider National Core Arts Standards in an open and inclusive process, with the input of the public and experts in the field. A major decision about the future of arts education has already been made with the input of very few, unknown individuals.”

In full disclosure, I served on the Media Arts writing team with a group of wonderful, thoughtful, artists and educators across arts disciplines who worked very hard to develop a robust, open, and student-centered set of standards (within a structure and process that were beyond our control). As a music educator and music teacher educator, I agree with Dain that it is critical for media arts to be considered a core academic subject and core arts subject along with other art forms that were included in prior iterations of national and state standards.

Please consider sending the following letter, email, or message (or your own version of it) to those listed below:

Dear ______

I am very concerned that AB2862 has deliberately excluded “Media Arts” from consideration in the revision of California arts education standards. The bill plainly states that National Core Arts Standards, that do include “Media Arts”, will be considered in a thorough, open and inclusive process for this revision, including input from the public and experts in the arts disciplines. In their pre-determination, the bill’s authors and their few advisors have obviously made a major decision regarding the future of arts education, completely bypassing a public, legitimating process.

Media Arts is a promising arts education discipline because it reflects the multimedia world students live in. It inherently fosters 21st C abilities that will prepare them for college and career. It benefits academic achievement by integrating arts and core content in creative, engaging projects that are culturally relevant. It empowers student voice and supports students in participating in a democratic and globally connected society. It fosters media literacies that are critical to becoming savvy viewers of media. These are unique capacities of media arts.

There are currently many Media Arts teachers in California, some who have even been teaching the discipline for decades, who would benefit from its distinction, as they are not serviced by other arts standards and specific institutional support. Aspiring Media Arts teachers now receive no specific pre-service training. New trends in Media Arts production and design are not recognized by traditional arts education, such as game design and interactive virtual design.

Media Arts is endorsed by all the national arts organizations that comprise the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), as well as their affiliates. Media Arts is endorsed in the Every Students Succeeds Act, by the National Association for Media Arts and Culture, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education. It was a Key Recommendation within CREATE CA’s “Blueprint for Creative Schools”. Many other states have already begun the process of including Media Arts in their standards revision process.

It would be most cost-effective to consider Media Arts for inclusion now, along with the other arts disciplines, than independently in the future. California must lead the country in adopting Media Arts, as we have a powerful legacy in its birth and development, and because of its prominent role in our culture and Creative Economy.

Please support the inclusion of Media Arts for full and legitimate consideration in California’s arts education standards revision process.

Respectfully,

Please consider sending your letter, email, or message (or your own version of it) to those listed below:

Governor Brown
https://govnews.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

The Honorable Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
1430 N Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Executive Office | 916-319-0800
E-mail: superintendent@cde.ca.gov

Instructional Quality Commission
c/o California Department of Education
Curriculum Frameworks & Instructional Resources Division
1430 N Street, Suite 3207
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: 916-319-0881
E-mail: iqc@cde.ca.gov

Stephanie Gregson, Executive Director
Instructional Quality Commission
Director, Curriculum Frameworks & Instructional
Resources Division (CFIRD)
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Room 3207
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: 916-319-0663; Fax: 916-319-0161
E-mail: sgregson@cde.ca.gov

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