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Doesn't the California Legislature watch 'Glee'?

April 20, 2010 |  5:30 pm

California state Capitol Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times The California Legislature is moving ahead on a foolish bill that says students who attend career and technical education high schools have to take all subjects regularly required for graduation -- with the notable exception of arts instruction.

The legislation is supposedly designed to boost California's high school graduation rates. It would allow students to replace the current requirement for a course in visual or performing arts or foreign language with one in career technical education.

CTE, which used to be known as vocational training, is a good thing. Dumping the high school requirement for visual or performing arts or foreign language is not.

Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena) tried to get a similar plan through the Legislature last year. His new bill, AB 2446, recently passed the Assembly's education committee. The change would commence with the 2011-12 school year.

Over at Dewey21C, the often useful arts education blog, Richard Kessler, executive director of the Center for Arts Education in New York, describes the plan as "completely backwards to a 21st century career and technical education." The whole post is worth a look.

Whether avoiding arts education creates a surer path to a high school diploma and the workforce is a dubious proposition, at best. But whether CTE students deserve a full education is a no-brainer.

The California Alliance for Arts Education urges opposition. They are correct.

-- Christopher Knight

Photo: California state Capitol. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Follow Times art critic Christopher Knight at KnightLAT on Twitter.