This is the online stream for sharing conversations that happened throughout the Greater Bay Area from March through June 2012 around the question:

How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone?

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Hello from Susan Wolf

Name Susan Wolf
Date of conversation Thursday, March 29, 2012
Conversation Participants Christine Polifka
Wendi Bushehry
Susan Wolf
Karla Ball
Diane Wang
Miriam Spilman
Meeting Topics? Arts Leadership Meeting at Jefferson Elementary with McKinnley Elementary teachers meet to build a vision from our experiences as teaching artists, classroom teachers and specialists.
Where are we now? Share key takeaways We have good art in our class right now, say, Christine 2nd grade teacher. She needs more time, she feels stressed… The kids seem happier, A great way to show expression.

McKinley Elementary school, Karla says, She is the only teacher that has art. There is no support for art in the school. She pays for her supplies

Lack of sustainability, Keeping the arts in school
students can’t think on their own

Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways It feels much more like an education when integrated education happens
Works for the whole child
we need courageous administrators

How can we be sustainable

Another way to assess kids
What are predictors of success, we also have equity issues

We want to see a joy of learning

How Should we get there? Share key takeaways If you find three teachers on your level
Support for the individual teachers, we need grants, we need a collaborator, Someone who writes grants.

find a positive principal

Valuing visiting artists
discuss and demand to plan a project

Next Steps? It is essential to have support from others who value and believe in teaching and learning that includes more than subject matter of tests.

It is important to know what other leaders are moving forward with.
Build communication and demand a vision that is sustainable


Hello from Ann Wettrich

Name Ann Wettrich
Date of conversation Thursday, March 29, 2012
Conversation Participants Masako Kalabach
Kristin Palm
Amanda Wilkening
Brandy Gardner
Ann Wettrich
Meeting Topics? Interrogating the framing question, the group asked: what is the purpose of public education in the larger world and then discussed distopian realities and ideals aims, that led to consideration of the role of art within education.
Where are we now? Share key takeaways
Pushing back on the question, we discussed negative connotations and damaging perceptions of education based on personal experiences–issues of power and control, teacher as authority figure and expert showing the right and wrong way to do things. Issues of inequity and fragmentation were brought up. Ideas re education in a democracy were also discussed–it should be free, a right and not a privilege and should provide students with the tools to function in life, and the room to explore ideas and form their own values. We discussed the role of creative and critical thinking and how art education can be structured to support integrative thinking (or not).
Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways
Connections were made between art, entrepreneurism and technology and considered how this is opening alternative pathways to careers. We thought about this in relationship to class divides and disparity of access to resources and education–raising the question: Is it necessary to go to college to learn these skills? We discussed technology as a resource and code as a language and how education and the arts can help to support the creative and critical use of media and how the internet allows wide access. Do students need to be taught how to navigate and use it well or is this something they can pick up on their own? We discussed the pros and cons of video games and learned about video games that promote creativity like guitar hero and code hero/code academy.
How Should we get there? Share key takeaways The conversation was generative in helping us think more about these questions in relationship to our lives and work…expanding our head space beyond the day-to-day work concerns and deadlines.
Next Steps? MOCHA is entering into a strategic planning process in April.

Thoughts from Wendi Bushehry

Hi, I was part of the conversation on March 8th about Mapping out the next steps for arts integration project. The questions and thoughts I have are; and I’m coming from the teaching artist perspective, I feel there is a disconnect right now with the transition process, we have these models of programs that work so we need to identify which way we want to go. Do we want one place for teaching artists to work from? or are the teaching artists to develop there own program and work together. We need a logo, forms, website, some kind of collateral to give to the schools, administrators. We need a place for teaching artist to go and find out information and we need an easy artful place for teachers, administrator to go and sign up for what they want. So, this is what I’ve been thinking about and I just want to hear what other people think. Thank you for taking your time!


Thoughts from Sofia Fojas

I attended the kick-off of Mapping the Next 10 Years at the ACOE on March 8 and took the conversation notes with me to a legislative breakfast the following Saturday. The event was organized by CTA for teachers to have conversations with elected officials. The room was comprised of 60 teachers and 12 elected officials, including Congressman Mike Honda. Each representative was assigned a table. At the registration table we were given a program and a card with talking points. None of the topics included a discussion of arts education in the public schools.

I was sitting at the table with a staffer from Elaine Alquist’s office, Mr. Lizandro Carrasco. I introduced the topic of the arts to our table’s conversation. Our table then had a discussion around the arts and the ways students’ participation in the arts keeps them coming to and connected to school.

Several years ago, Lizandro and I had been involved in establishing a mariachi program at a school on whose board he served, so he and I had a ready connection. In his summary of our table’s conversation, Lizandro talked solely about the importance of the arts, even though the talking points did not address the arts in education in any way. What I really appreciated about the ACOE strategic planning meeting was that we were sent away with a charge-a ‘next steps’if you will-to discuss arts education with different sets of people. I’ve been doing that ever since! To be continued!


The thing is… There needs to be a good reason to go there.

The tool of the day seems to change every hour. The learning curve makes my head spin, I growl and stomp my feet then walk away only later to be drawn back because I find the digital voice to be such an incredibly powerful tool. It is not just eye candy. But sometimes you need a buddy to help you feel like the new tool is worth the effort.

Before posting I strive to be purposeful. I keep in mind that huge and awful pacific garbage patch of plastic when considering a post. Detritus. I take a deep breath and try to contribute something worthwhile instead of adding to the gyre.

That said, a tool like this will only be used if there is enough good stuff to make it worthwhile. So, I’m watching and seeing that hmmm… there are conversations going on. Hmmm… interesting conversations and maybe that hmmm will become a buzz.

my eye candy for you: spiders web with dew drops


Hello from Louise Music

Name Louise Music
Date of conversation Monday, March 12, 2012
Conversation Participants Rosette Costello, Principal at Peralta Elementary/Demonstration School
Erika Nielsen-Andrew and Abby Benedetto at Envision Learning Partners
Carolyn Carr Project Manager and Tana Johnson PD Coordinator – Alliance for ALL
Louise Music – Alliance for ALL
Meeting Topics? Demonstration School and Assessment Planning and Implementation Group

Establishing networks of schools demonstrating arts integration, deeper learning and performance assessments

Where are we now? Share key takeaways
Peralta Elementary in Oakland, Jefferson Elementary in San Leandro, Emery Secondary School, AHA at Berkeley high school, NOCCS are current demonstration schools

Peralta and Jefferson receive funding from an NEA grant to host bi-annual retreats and monthly leadership group meetings for sharing, documentation and networking

Demonstration Schools are working with Envison Learning Partners to implement and demonstrate performance based assessments in the Bay Area Performance Assessment Network (BAPAN)

On January 11 teachers from Peralta presented with Envision Learning Partners at a regional leadership forum for superintendents and school board members about district schools demonstrating summative performance based assessments with expertise from Envision. San Leandro and Emery teachers use of SHoM was featured in videos.

On March 9, leaders from the California Department of Education toured Jefferson, AHA, OSA and heard from Peralta and Envision partners about deeper learning and performance assessments.

Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways
On March 9, it was proposed to state leaders that demonstration schools and BAPAN could collaborate with other regional partners in arts integration and higher education to move from a set of model programs and networks, toward a collaborative approach that could take these effective practices to scale in our region, thus beta testing the transition all California schools will need to make by 2014-15

It is time to move from individual organizations working with individual districts and networks, to organizations wiht complimentary expertise working together to serve all schools and provide every student access to learning in and through the arts, and assessments that prepare students fro next steps in school, career and community

How Should we get there? Share key takeaways Present proposal put before state leaders to district superintendents for input and regional buy-in

Convene partners to identify mutually reinforcing activities and complimentary expertise, and make a graphic to show how cross-organization/institutional partnerships can serve Bay area schools at scale

Next Steps? Revise language on one page description of demonstration schools to reflect new thinking about performance assessments aligned to common core (well crafted language)

Convene partners to identify mutually reinforcing activities and complimentary expertise, and make a graphic to show how cross-organization/institutional partnerships can serve Bay area schools at scale

Work with county superintendent to determine next steps from March 9, and continue conversation with district superintendents and others


Hello from Ann Wettrich

Name Ann Wettrich
Date of conversation Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Conversation Participants Alliance Teaching & Learning Committee members present:
Julia Marshall, Sabrina Klein, Rica Anderson, Ann Wettrich,
Nancy Ng, Carolyn Carr (and Kim Turner follow up meeting comments)
Meeting Topics? Digital Media: What does democratic media mean to you? What digital media do you currently use in your work and how? Ideas for KQED to
support your work.
Where are we now? Share key takeaways
Summary of ways group members are using digital media:
– Power Point (beyond obvious professional presentation use; using with students to present their research and thinking process leading up to the final product or artwork.
– Smart Phones camera and slide show functions. Luna is using to text choreographic prompts to teachers and students who then send back documentation of their resulting work. Good evidence of learning for documentation and evaluation purposes.

– Pencha Chucha Presentations using digital slide technology to present quick exchanges of work.
– Ning tools to facilitate group dialogue and work across time and space.
– Classes (open source and proprietary); Example: I Tunes U
– WordPress – Blogsite for classes where can convene dialogue between classes; post readings, resources and links, assignments, syllabi, synopsis of classes and documentation of teaching and learning process–helps to make learning visible and offers space for reflection.

– Arts/Education/Ideas websites, videos and educational resources Art 21, SPARK, TED Talks, ED Talks
– e-books, audio books
– mind mapping
– Google for research and gathering images

Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways Ideas for KQED to help advance our work. Summary includes:
– Creating a show (radio, tv) on The Art of Education
– SPARK episode on teaching as an artform, following the work of teaching artists.
– Showcasing innovative approaches to teaching and learning thru the arts that contrast with mainstream standardized test scores and achievement oriented dialogue.
– Assert arts primacy throughout history and its important role in education.
Next Steps? The group enjoyed this exploratory and informative conversation and decided that we should incorporate one conversation on a topic connected to our work at each meeting. We meet three times a year. For our next meeting in May we’ve decided to have a conversation on collaboration.