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A Blueprint for Creative Schools
A Report to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson – 2015
A Blueprint for Creative Schools: A Report to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom
Torlakson by the Arts Education Task Force, is a summary report culminating over two years of
work by over 100 contributors, dedicated to making a creative education possible for all of
California’s students by making the arts a central component of curriculum. The 30-page
report can be viewed at Two overarching themes run throughout the Blueprint. • Infusing the 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning - critical thinking, communication, collaboration
and creativity – into all education policy • Equity and access are the overriding critical lenses through which to view all policy
“We have been
extremely fortunate to
have such a
knowledgeable and
creative group
committed to helping
our state rebuild its
infrastructure for arts
- Tom Torlakson,
Superintendent of Public
The task force grappled with critical issues and made a series
of policy recommendations to embed the arts into the fabric of
the educational system. This streamlined document,
highlighting the task force’s important work, is divided into
sections that address key themes and critical issues:
Supporting the Arts Curriculum: addressing disciplinespecific arts education as well as engaging the power of arts
learning across curriculum
• Recommendations include creating a 21st Century model for
visual and performing arts standards and curriculum that
includes media arts and arts integration as a vital components
in a comprehensive arts education, and recognizes culturally
and linguistically responsive approaches to instruction. Enhancing Educator Quality, Preparation and Professional Learning in the Arts:
addressing the continuous improvement of teacher and administrator training programs and
requirements, and the inclusion of relevant and current arts content, theory and pedagogy
• Recommendations include restoring dance and theatre single subject credentials,
ensuring high quality preparation in the arts in multiple subject credentials, and exploring
certification for non-credentialed arts educators. 1
Producing High-Quality Arts Assessment, Research and Evidence: addressing a rigorous
and well-articulated system of school, district, and statewide performance-based assessments
within all arts disciplines and cross-curricular formats
• Recommendations include the development of an “arts report card” public reporting
system for districts, standards-based learning assessments for students, a centralized
digital clearinghouse for relevant research, and the continued exploration of a creativity
index. Ensuring Equity and Access: addressing equitable access to high-quality arts education and
culturally responsive pedagogy
• Recommendations include developing data collection mechanisms to address and
improve gaps in access and to consider equity and access when implementing all policy
recommendations. Strengthening Collaborative Relationships: addressing the development of cross-sector
collaborations to align with 21st century educational goals
• Recommendations include developing a California collaborative toolkit and
communications network for those seeking to build education partnerships at the
school, district, county and state levels.
Expanding the Role of Business and Industry in the Creative Workforce: addressing the
talent pipeline for business and industry in California
• Recommendations include the creation of a Education and Business Council to focus on
creating opportunities for students to gain the skills needed for business of the 21st
Providing Funding for the Arts: addressing the inclusion of arts education in districts’ Local
Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans
• Recommends specific ways that arts education addresses the goals of LCFF. A Blueprint for Creative Schools was published by
CREATE CA on January 29, 2015. The 30-page
summary report was compiled by Superintendent
Torlakson’s arts education task force. View the
complete report at 2