Earlier this year, California’s State Assembly announced unfortunate news that SB 725 – a California Music Educators Association (CMEA) sponsored bill – would no longer update the State’s Visual and Performing Arts Standards (VAPA). The bill was amended to solve an urgent crisis regarding California’s High School Exit Exam. CMEA has since continued their advocacy efforts to seek alternatives in producing new VAPA standards for the state.
Most recently, arts educators received a survey from California’s Department of Education regarding future assessments in visual and performing arts. In response to the survey, CMEA partnered with the California Art Education Association, California Dance Educators Association, and California Educational Theatre Association and submitted a joint letter to State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, stating any statewide visual and performing arts assessments should be delayed until California adopts updated VAPA standards. California’s current visual and performing arts standards were first adopted in 2001 and do not align with California’s adoption of Common Core. These standards must be updated before any assessments can provide valid data on music and arts education in California.
CMEA strongly encouraged its members to participate in the survey to address these issues; however, the survey was deactivated early by request of the California Department of Education. CMEA continues to monitor the situation closely and has inquired the Department on the survey’s early termination.
Ronny Lau, Legislative Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, September 28, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org).