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 Tana Johnson

Name Tana Johnson
Date of conversation Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Conversation Participants LaShaune Fitch, Arlene Shmaeff, Yvonne Cerrato, Hilda Robinson, Tana Johnson
Where are we now? Share key takeaways We all want change; teaching to the test is not working. Change has to include include student voice, teacher voice, parent/community voice. Policy change needs to include top down/bottom up–joint effort.
John Maeda, President of Rhode Island School of Design, says we can no longer say, "Save the Arts." This weakens our position. We now need to say, "Save the World through the Arts." Bring scientists to see arts/designers. See how we all are asking deep questions about the world/thinking of solutions for the world.
Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways
We want to see schools move toward student centered curriculum, more student voice, project-based learning, empowered teachers who make curriculum relevant to students, multidisciplinary approach to learning, artist practice transferring to other subjects–inquiry model; art coming into the center rather than being on the side line; schools stay open late and become art academies after school; schools become community schools, involving the whole community as capital/resources. More mentorship between professionals and high school students. Opportunities for kids to explore real world careers. Consider multi-age classrooms (Montessori model) — older kids teach younger kids, "sage on the stage" moves to "guide on the side." How could this approach change teaching? Help shape teacher PD for integrated teaching/learning; build Integrated Learning Specialist Program in order to reach more people; take program to scale on state wide level. Consider creating an ‘art boot camp’ for administrators that would be a week of artistic training to help them ‘see’ importance and rigor of art practice. Continue building leadership among teachers/schools/districts — bottom/up. Bring teachers together to plan next generation performance-based assessments, or at least make sure teachers are part of the conversation, rather than ‘last to know.’

Build core of empathic, equity-based curriculum so that teachers and students are prepared for cooperative, collaborative, problem-solving, creative mindsets.

How Should we get there? Share key takeaways
Look at models that work –>ASPIRE, Envision Charter Schools, Ascend. Share and disseminate these models to larger community. Communication/marketing/positive messaging toward change: Work with PTA to capture videos of parents talking about importance of the arts in kids’ lives (PTA Smarts program).

Work on all of our different levels to be effective change agents: state, county, district, school, teacher, student, parent, community, arts organizations, museums, after school programs, health initiatives, etc.

At the recent NAEA conference, John Maeda, President of Rhode Island School of Design said in his plenary: "We need to change the current frame: ‘SAVE the ARTS’ weakens our position. We need to say ‘SAVE the WORLD.’ We are all in this together. How can science, technology, math, arts, design, health, education, business…how can all of us solve the world’s problems together?"

Next Steps? Have conversations, listen, think, talk, post, synthesize.