Posts in arts education
Talking Points: Arts Education in Oklahoma

Hundreds of arts and culture supporters will gather at the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 to celebrate Oklahoma Arts Day.  Read our priorities for arts education below.
We request your support of school-based art teachers, arts integration and community arts and culture programs.

We affirm funding for the Oklahoma Arts Council as important to a well-rounded education statewide. 

We seek improved funding for public education that allows well-rounded learning including arts education.

For a child’s education to be complete, it must include the arts. Arts education---- music, dance, visual arts, drama/theatre and media arts-- prepares students for school, work and life. Students from early childhood to high school gain from arts education in multiple ways:

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ARTS EDUCATION: SERVING ALL STUDENTS

This diagram show the ways students benefit from arts education in their schools and communities.

Each part of the arts education ecosystem is important to benefit students. As we advocate for more certified arts teachers in schools or more community arts groups serving neighborhoods, let’s respect the role of each.

Americans for the Arts and other national partners produced this diagram as part of their “Arts Education for American Students: A Shared Endeavor” statement.

Read the statement here.

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ARTS EDUCATION & ESSA

Laws and policy are changing education standards and accountability. Oklahoma’s Department of Education is working now to decide how our state will implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Our State Department of Oklahoma is creating a State Plan in preparation for implementation of ESSA for the 2017-18 academic year. Each state must revise its accountability plan for success in education, which―in addition to items such as test scores―can include other indicators, such as measures of participation in arts instruction.

Take advantage of the important opportunities outlined on this handout to voice your support for arts education!

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6 WEEKS INTO OKLAHOMA'S LEGISLATIVE SESSION: UPDATE

Oklahomans for the Arts has been tracking and weighing in on bills related to arts education, public art, cultural districts, nonprofit contributions and more.

If you’ve been watching the news, you likely are aware of the significant budget crisis our Legislature seeks to parley.

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50 STORIES 50 YEARS: AN OKCPS VISUAL ARTS EDUCATOR

As a visual arts educator with OKCPS, Gail Sloop has seen public funding for the arts support creative, integrated learning on Oklahoma history, art, and culture among OKC elementary students.

“My mission is to expose young children, pre-kindergarten to 6th, to the arts,” says Sloop.

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50 STORIES 50 YEARS: CENTRAL ACADEMY

Central Academy, one of Oklahoma’s nation-leading alternative education centers, provides an additional dimension of education to their Tahlequah students – art education.

According to school leaders, the school is in a town and education system where creative outlets can be one of the first “non-essentials” to be cut out. Central Academy has been able to provide such outlets to allow students to express “their uniqueness and individuality, and [to] gain that sense of accomplishment and worthiness” (Paula Sloan, Director of Alternative Education for Tahlequah Public Schools).

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50 STORIES 50 YEARS: THE GODDARD CENTER

The Goddard Center serves as a beacon of creativity throughout south central Oklahoma and as a symbol of its lively, inventive communities. The center’s hands-on art classes serve diverse populations of all ages and particularly assist rural public schools in meeting the State’s Standards for Fine Arts.

Among the counties the Goddard Center serves are two of Oklahoma’s lowest ranking counties in terms of household income and health, Jefferson and Johnston – counties and cities whose school systems would not be able to serve their students in meeting the State’s fine arts standards without the work of the Goddard Center.

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CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF ARTS EDUCATION POLICY

Arts education leaders and arts advocates have converged on Washington DC for a series of strategic events, including the Arts Education Partnership State Policy Symposium, Americans for the Arts Arts Education State Pilot Project, State Art Action Network and the Arts Advocacy Day.

I am here with Amber Sharples, Executive Director of Oklahoma Arts Council, who is taking the lead on our arts education policy team. I will be reporting in from several of these events to share observations and resources I find.

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