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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #19-14
February 4, 2019
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Commends New K-12 California Arts Standards

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent Tony Thurmond praised the recent adoption of new California Arts Standards by the State Board of Education, stating it is a critical step in enhancing creativity in students and preparing students for California’s “creative economy.” The last update to the state’s arts standards was in 2001.

“This was long overdue. Creativity and appreciation for the arts is important for all students to have a well-rounded education, exposing them to new ideas and perspectives. Arts education boosts school attendance, academic achievement, and college attendance rates; improves school climate; and promotes higher self-esteem and social-emotional development.” Thurmond said. “In addition, proficiency in the technology related to creative work is becoming an important skill for students as they progress into college and career.”

According to a 2018 report External link opens in new window or tab. by the Otis College of Art and Design, California’s creative economy generated $407.1 billion in economic output and 1.6 billion jobs, resulting in $141.5 billion in wages earned statewide. In the Los Angeles region alone, the creative economy generated $198 billion in economic output with $59.6 billion in wages earned.

In 2016, Governor Brown signed AB 2862, which directed California’s Instructional Quality Commission to recommend revised visual and performing arts standards. Shortly thereafter, AB 37 directed the addition of media arts as a fifth discipline.

Adding media arts as a discipline addressed its diverse categories, including photography, digital imaging, video, animation, sound production, web design, graphic design, virtual design, interactive design, multimedia, and virtual reality. In addition to this new discipline, the new arts standards also update teaching approaches to the artistic disciplines of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.

The state met with focus groups and later convened a Visual and Performing Arts Standards Advisory Committee of classroom teachers, and other educators. That group developed the standards using the National Core Arts Standards before being adopted by the California State Board of Education.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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