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Arts education loses again in Sacramento; bill favoring career training advances in Senate

July 2, 2010 | 10:55 am

GloriaRomero Well, at least they finally got on the scoreboard.

After being shut out in three votes in the state Assembly, arts advocates at last got a legislator to side with them about keeping an already thin arts-education requirement from being further diluted in California public high schools.

The bill, AB 2446, would allow students to blow off an existing minimum graduation requirement -- a year of arts or a foreign language -- in favor of taking a year of jobs-preparation instead. The Senate education committee voted 5-1 on Wednesday in favor of the new approach, with committee chair Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) providing the vote in opposition. Two others abstained.

Before the vote, Laurie Schell, executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education, testified that arts learning promotes the same objectives as the technical education that the bill aims to promote: giving students more incentive to stay in school, while acquiring skills useful in careers.

The Senate's appropriations committee will take up the bill next.

"We will continue to make our case in opposition," Schell said in a blog entry headlined "A David and Goliath Story." The arts lobby is squaring off against opposition that includes two statewide teachers' unions and the California PTA.

-- Mike Boehm

Recent and Related

California Assembly votes to further dilute arts as a high school requirement

Photo: State Sen. Gloria Romero. Credit: Diandra Jay / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (10)

Job Training is only valuable if there are jobs for that training to be applied to. Foreign languages and arts develop skills that can also be used in the work place. This is extremely short sighted. I don't even know if it qualifies as being sighted at all, because I fail to see the value of it even in the short term.

If the art world hadn’t jumped the shark so long ago by diluting drawing basics so completely arts education wouldn’t be in this fix. Dumb Congressmen can’t see how art can make a person a living because so much of today’s art is incompressible to them Add to that they are always being begged for funds for arts on many levels. I’ve made a great living in the entertainment field and fine art no thanks to the shoddy art class’s I had to self- teach my way through from grade school to Junior Collage. Learning good drawing and painting skills or playing instrument is as hard as any math class and needs to be set up that way. As long as it’s known you can fake your way through art class and the least talented get the art world grants, arts “Education” will be a tempting target.

Well goodness, why would they want the peasants to become critical thinkers? We need to increase production, not social or thinking skills. One must not look behind the curtain and actually see the man pulling strings and levers. Let's hear it for another generation of workers who don't know how to count change!

They can count change; they just aren’t going to buy a painting with it.

They can count change; they just aren’t going to buy a painting with it.

And there arent hundreds of unempoyable art grads applying for every available job out there? Please! It has always been this way, my mother who graduated four years after Irving Penn at their Philadelphia applied arts school could get jobs, and had hundreds trying to behind her. today there are even more, with even less skills to use.

Web designers are losing jobs, or will once folks learn how to use Juumla, new easier and better applications are being developed all the time. And MFAs have NO marketable skills, critical thinking the leaset with the head mentality and begging for acceptancew attitudes in the belly of the beast.

All kids need some art classes, just as they need physical education, the wimpiness factor has now skyrocked, toneless droids passing themselvs off as artistes, and pervaded every field. Balance is needed, and more art grads are tnot teh answer, but basics classes for ALL kids.

Art can be learned on ones own. In fact, it is, and always has been, the only way. Fundamentals first, age and experience will bring will bring purpose, if one truly is driven, one will work no matter what, classes to validate and explore teenage fantasies are therapy, not art.

art collegia delenda est

I do not know a single CTE person who wants to see arts or language programs closed. I do not know if I can say the feeling is reciprocated. Let's try this, folks: Instead of fighting to see which side (V/PA or CTE) will survive, let's work together to cement BOTH positions as essential to a balanced education! We easily save CTE, V/PA, and Foreign Language if the people working against this legislation were working to unite us all under one banner.

This is NOT an either/or bill. The bill provides opportunities for students to choose the path of their education. 30-50% drop-out rates for college only tracks clearly isn't working. CTE provides a relevent engaging education path and studies illustrate the 85% of the students taking CTE courses graduate from high school.
This bill does not hurt the art community at all.

"Local Artist" needs to WAKE UP.
"Job Training is only valuable if there are jobs for that training to be applied to." Where have you been?!There are tens of thousands of jobs in high-skill, high-wage fields that are unfilled because kids are taking three years of finger-painting to get an easy "A." It is amusing that you think that "Foreign languages and arts develop skills that can also be used in the work place," while not considering that MAYBE "Career education" might give them some skills that employers demand yet say nearly all applicants are lacking, thanks to the current "2 years Foreign Language, 1 year of Fine Arts" model of secondary education. How about ENTRY LEVEL SKILLS in technical fields? If that's not your cup of tea then form a line behind the rest of the BA's with Fine arts degrees at the employment application window at Starbucks.
CTE is a CONTEXT for learning to take place in. Why do students learn biology, or algebra? To USE IT, not just for the sake of learning. CTE has been around since mankind appeared on the earth. Authentic, Relevant Education has always been a case of "here, let me show you how to do this," as opposed to the nebulous BS with no relevant application that is force-fed to students today. No wonder 30% drop out - they see though the smoke-screen of irrelevance and hoop-jumping that the current reality of the last 30 years of turning everyone into a Liberal Arts major has wrought.

With the current economic situation, it wasn’t even really a surprise that my former company was downsizing, and that included my termination. With the amount of experience I had, I felt that finding a new job wouldn’t be as difficult as it turned out to be. With the bills piling up and still no job, a friend referred me to www.careersuccessions.com . On the site, I was able to find the job that I have today, which I can honestly say has been the most fulfilling company I have every worked for. When you are looking for career guidance that doesn’t waste your time or money, seriously consider www.careersuccessions.com .


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