Thoughts from Sofia FojasPosted: March 16, 2012
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!