CAEA Advocacy

Visual and Performing Arts Standards UPDATE!

Attention CAEA Members:

We are moving very quickly towards finalizing the process of visual arts credentials in California. A major component in this process is to revise state standards and framework for visual arts education. These documents will guide the course work for new visual arts educators in teacher education programs. We need “all hands on deck” in the visual arts community to assist in this process of reviewing the newly revised standards and participating in the framework revision as this information is important to all of our pedagogical practices.

Upcoming VAPA Standards Milestones

    On July 26, 2018, the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) will review the draft revised Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) standards recommended by the 21 members of the VAPA Standards Advisory Committee (SAC) at their final meeting on May 4. The IQC Agenda, which will include links to the draft standards, will be posted on the IQC web page at 10 days in advance of the IQC meeting.
    In August 2018, a draft of the revised VAPA Standards will be officially posted for public review and comment. Members of the public will be able to provide input by completing a survey. The survey results and any comments sent via email will be provided to the IQC in November when they will review the draft and public comments, consider making revisions, and forward the standards to the State Board of Education (SBE) for action in January 2019.

    In August, the California Department of Education (CDE) will convene focus groups of educators to gather input to guide the revision of the VAPA Framework. Educators who applied to a focus group panel will receive letters indicating whether they were appointed before July 4, 2018. Educators and interested members of the public who are not on a focus group panel may still attend focus group meetings to provide comments or submit them via email. See the VAPA Curriculum Framework web page at for focus group times and locations. Meeting agendas and focus group questions will be posted 10 days in advance of the first meeting.

Why is Public Comment Important?

Please remember that the revision of the standards and framework is a public process open to input from all interested stakeholders. Public comment may be used to indicate support of draft standards and framework or share desired revisions and outcomes. If you are not able to attend any of the public meetings you may still provide public comment via the email address  [email protected].





The California Art Education Association has worked to become the leading voice for art education here in California, and we would like to share the advocacy events we have planned for 2017. CAEA is letting Sacramento know about the importance of Visual Art Education for all students.


An act to add Section 60902 to the Education Code, relating to pupil data. Legislative counsel’s digest AB 385, as introduced, Chu. California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System: required pupil data. Click Here  


An act to amend Section 60605.13 of the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction. Legislative counsel’s digest AB 37, as amended, O'Donnell. Pupil instruction: visual and performing arts: content standards in media arts. Click Here



New Federal Administration Transition Update - What Visual Arts Educators Should Know Moving Forward

With the inauguration of President Donald S. Trump and the appointment of U.S. Secretary of Education Elizabeth P. ‘Betsy’ DeVos on February 7, there are many questions about the impact of new leadership and their priorities for both education and the arts at the federal, state, and local levels. NAEA recognizes that as educators and leaders it is important that we remain vigilant in knowing as much as possible about what changes might occur, when changes might go into effect, and how to best share our ideas and concerns so that our voices are represented and heard throughout the process.  

NAEA’s collective Vision is for students of all ages to benefit from comprehensive, balanced, and sequential learning in the visual arts, led and taught by qualified teachers who are certified in art education.  This Vision can only be realized if there is access to the arts in their schools, communities, and throughout their lives in keeping with NAEA’s Mission of advancing visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding.

Three primary areas of knowledge and Information -

1. ESSA Implementation – Policy

ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act, will be implemented beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. The U.S. Department of Education, State Departments of Education, school districts and schools continue to make plans for implementing ESSA. There are no immediate changes to that timetable as ESSA implementation is the law. 

On Friday, February 10, Secretary DeVos issued a letter to State Commissioners of Education regarding the development of ESSA state plan (To see DeVos’ letter to the Chiefs, go herePolitico By Caitlin Emma 02/10/2017 04:01 PM EDT

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said today in a letter to states that she's sticking with the April and September deadlines for states to hand in their plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

"I am writing today to assure you that I fully intend to implement and enforce the statutory requirements of the ESSA," DeVos said in the letter, which was obtained by POLITICO. "One of my main priorities as secretary is to ensure that states and local school districts have clarity during the early implementation of the law."

President Donald Trump delayed the Obama administration's accountability regulations under the law for 60 days and Republicans in Congress are working to overturn the rules. Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, recently told DeVos that if Congress overturns the regulations then states will need clarity quickly.

With the regulatory delay and review, DeVos said the Education Department is reviewing a template that was issued by the Obama administration to help states develop their plans. DeVos said the department will issue a new template by March 13 that tells states what's "absolutely necessary" for them to consider in developing those plans.

DeVos said that in the near future, the Education Department "will provide more information on its review of existing regulations, as well as additional guidance and technical assistance."

To see DeVos’ letter to the Chiefs, go here

To see the timeline your state is working under (April or September) based on their letter of intent to the Department, go here

How the arts are included  in your state’s ESSA plan and/or your school district’s plans moving forward will be determined by local education policy makers.  ESSA emphasizes that these decisions will not be Federally mandated, and so there is no federal requirement to include or not include individual subject areas in these plans.

There is no one set of "next steps" for supporting the arts within ESSA which applies to NAEA members in every state. Some states are convening more open forums for determining their state plans, while others are handling their ESSA "next steps" more discretely.  

If you are interested in getting involved with the plans for ESSA, and supporting ways that the arts can be included in your state plan, NAEA encourages you to contact your state department of education and the person responsible for arts education, and/or ESSA contact identified by your state department of education. Ask -

  • if and how your state is involving community stakeholders in the planning process and needs assessment required by the legislation;
  • how the arts and arts and STEM initiatives are part of the state ESSA plan;
  • if your state department of education ESSA team is aware of the many ways in which other communities have used Title I funds to support arts learning
  • Be prepared to Tell Your Story– if you are having success in engaging the arts in your school or district’s ESSA Plan – share your story with NAEA and your colleagues by emailing us at [email protected]

There will be three sessions relating to ESSA at NAEA National Convention in New York City:

1. Featured Session with Laura H. Chapman and Diane Ravitch on Thursday, March 2 at 12:00 – 12;50 p.m. Grand Ballroom/Hilton

2. Navigating the Education Policy Landscape Under ESSA and the New Administration with Kathi R. Levin, NAEA Policy/Legislative Liaison and Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts, on Thursday, March 2, 4:00 – 4:50 p.m., Hilton/Sutton North/2nd Floor

3. ESSA, Well-Rounded Education, and The Arts with Jane Best, Director, Arts Education Partnership, on Friday, March 3, 11:00 – 11:50 a.m., Hilton/Sutton Center/2nd Floor

As NAEA has previously reported, there are extensive opportunities for furthering arts education within ESSA. NAEA continues its leadership role through service on the ESSA Working Group of the Arts Education Partnership that brings together leaders across the arts education associations to develop collective resources. In addition, the Education Commission of the States (the parent organization of the Arts Education Partnership) has issued the following ESSA Issues Briefs, also available at

Please refer to both the ESSA area of the NAEA website (see Advocacy), as well as the Art Education Partnership area of the Education Commission of the States’ website and for a markup of ESSA, additional information and briefing papers about ESSA and arts education. In particular, Title I and Title IV support the importance of the arts as part of a well-rounded education. ESSA also encourages community-based partnerships with schools including those with higher education and nonprofit organizations (such as museums).




Advocacy Begins At Home!


The CAEA along with CDEA, CETA and CMEA have created a resource for arts educators.  This is the first of three pieces that will be available for arts educators to become more familiar with the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  We hope you find part 1 useful.  Stay tuned for parts two and three!

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Process, Part 1

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Process, Part 2



Help support the arts in California by purchasing a Drive the Arts license plate.  Proceeds from sales and renewals of California’s Arts Plate support arts education programs across the state. Visit to learn more.


Contact your State Legislators
Contact your Federal Legislators
Contact other Federal and State Officials
An Unfinished Canvas, Arts Education in California: Taking Stock of Policies and Practices. 
A landmark study from independent research institute SRI International, for the first time systemically examined the status of arts education in California. The study reveals that the vast majority of California's schools fail to meet state standards for teaching the arts, and that access to arts instruction varies widely among the state's schools.
An Unfinished Canvas - Summary Report
An Unfinished Canvas - Full Report



NAEA Advocacy Resources


2009 Arts Education Letter: Secretary Duncan in support of arts education.
2004 California State Visual Arts Standards

Advocacy Publications and Resources from NAEA
Advocacy White Papers for Art Education from NAEA
Americans for the Arts

Arts Education Partnership Critical Links
Arts Create California
California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE) Action Center
(Many helpful tools including "Make the Case to Your School Board," "Facts You Can Use," and more.)
CA Arts license plates

CAEA Position Paper

Elliot Eisner’s Ten Lessons the Arts Teach

Elliot Eisner’s NAEA Speech “What Education Can Learn from the Arts”
Enter "art education" to search the Department of Ed for more links
Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network
President's Report: Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools
Leadership Powerpoint (large files--may take a few minutes to download)
      Step Up to Leadership, Part I
      Step Up to Leadership, Part II
Visual Arts California Advocacy Tips

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