Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

(This is the adopted policy of the Anaheim Arts Council: May 2017)

CREATE CA defines EQUITY in Arts Education* as the right of every student to engage and succeed in powerful, high quality, standards-based arts learning Pre-K12. All students from every race, culture, language background, geographic region, and socio-economic level must have the opportunity to fully develop their own artistic, cultural, and linguistic heritage while expanding opportunities to study and explore artistic expressions across different cultures and time periods.

*We define arts education to include courses of study and interdisciplinary learning in dance, music, theatre, and visual and media arts, aligned with the State Standards and reflecting the provisions of the California State Education Code.

1. The right to equitable access to PreK-12 free, coherent, and sequential standards-based arts learning that is part of the core curriculum and that provides both integrated and discrete visual and performing arts learning opportunities; and the right to equitable outcomes as a result of this access, without distinction on account of race, culture, language, religion, national origin, geographical location, or legal status.

“I have the right to participate and succeed in high-quality courses in all the arts disciplines as part of my basic education, regardless of my background, culture, language or place of residence.”

2. The right to special protection for every student’s artistic and aesthetic development. The right to protection from policies and practices that exclude or preclude certain students or populations from equitable access to and success in powerful and coherent arts learning PreK-12.

I have the same right to fully develop my creative potential at every grade level and not be excluded for any reason.”

3. The right to arts learning that is culturally and linguistically responsive and relevant, with attention to those populations that have traditionally been excluded or precluded, such as English Learners, students of color, foster youth, homeless youth, students in poverty, migrant students, and special needs students.

“I have the right to engage in arts education that reflects, respects and builds on my culture, language and background.”

4. The right to arts learning programs in every school, district, and community that are funded and supported with the necessary resources, including qualified administrators, teachers, teaching artists, and other staff, adequate materials, and appropriate facilities to support powerful culturally and linguistically responsive arts learning.

“I have the right to receive the resources I need to be successful in my arts studies in dance, music, theatre, media and visual arts, including the proper supplies and facilities, and especially qualified teachers and curriculum that honor all cultures and languages.”

5. The right to educators, leaders, and parents/community who are knowledgeable about the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of arts learning for individual students, families/communities, the nation, and global society.

“I have the right to be supported by leaders in my community and school who understand the benefits of an arts education to prepare me for college, career and life.”

6. The right to be brought up in school and community environments that value and protect the arts and equity as essential to the full development of every student, and that demonstrate those values/beliefs in their public policies and practices.

“I have the right to learn and practice the arts in a positive environment where everyone understands and acts on the knowledge that I am engaging in valuable and important work.”

Reproduced from Create California

NOTE: This Declaration was also approved by a 5-0 vote of the board of the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) in May 2107. We wish them every success as they try to make the policy effective in the face of falling enrollment and other pressures.

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