Parenting is a Journey
An Adventure of Discovery Not Only of our Children But of Ourselves as Well
Anyone who’s ever stood on a high school field can tell you there’s a big difference between baseball and ballet, dodgeball and dance. Yet for the last 45 years, a P.E. credential was required to teach dance in California. An act signed by Jerry Brown this fall—fabulously termed TADA!, for the Theater and Dance Act—ensures that credentialed theater and dance instructors will teach those classes. In 1970 the Ryan Act had eliminated dance and theater credentials.
TADA! passed through both legislative houses with 100 percent ayes and support from powerhouse educational groups such as the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, among others. Even American Beauty star Annette Bening lent her backing, testifying in support of the act before the Senate Education Committee.
“I’m happy to see the expertise of theater and dance teachers being valued with single subject credentials,” said Carol Hovey, director of the Livermore High School Theatre Program and president of the California Educational Theatre Association. “The recognition of the rigor and value of the arts is critical to moving the arts to the core of every child’s learning.”
According to the California Alliance for Arts Education, the author of the bill, Senator Ben Allen of Santa Monica, had argued, “California is the arts and entertainment capital of the world, yet we are one of only two states in the country that does not authorize teaching credentials in theater or dance.”
Now students can be assured that their dance and theater instructors have the highest level of genre-specific training and a literal and philosophical background in the arts. Plié away!
Winning the blue ribbon: California Crosspoint High School in Hayward excitedly celebrated its being named as one of the top 1 percent of schools in the nation.
Incredibly enough, this is the second time the private Christian high school has won such an honor. It first won in 2003, joining a limited pool of only 8,500 schools across the nation that have won this award in the 34 years it has been offered.
Schools first qualify for the award by placing in the top 10 percent nationally on standardized test scores, then they are able to apply for the National Blue Ribbon School award. The U.S. Department of Education reviews the applications, and, in the case of private schools such as California Crosspoint, the Council for American Private Education also examines the applications. The judges ensure that schools not only have great scores but also challenging curriculum.
So how do the Crosspointers celebrate? They get to fly a special National Blue Ribbon flag at the school, and a group of teachers and administrators will attend a two-day celebration in Washington, D.C., in early November. A celebration at Crosspoint itself in October, when the award was announced, incorporated the grand opening festivities for its new campus in Hayward.
Other area schools that won this honor include Evergreen Elementary School in San Jose, Hillcrest Elementary School in Oakland, Lafayette Elementary School in San Francisco, Laurel Elementary School in Atherton, Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School in Santa Rosa, Strandwood Elementary School in Pleasant Hill, Sun Valley Elementary School in San Rafael, Thornhill Elementary School in Oakland and Valley Christian Elementary School in San Jose. Congratulations to all these strong schools!
Erika Mailman is a Northern California-based freelance writer. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with comments.