In March of 2012, the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership was wrapping up a three year strategic plan titled “Making Systemic Change”. The plan had been organized around two major goals:1) Create a professional community of educators that can flexibly, respond to the ongoing learning needs and success of all students.2) Advocate for and influence policy development that supports professional practice for student success.Strong progress had been made toward these two goals, including:the establishment of a professional development system that connects meaningful and diverse professional development across the landscape through shared, research based thinking frames for curriculum design and assessment, and the establishment of new policies and demonstrated practice in assessing deeper learning through improved performance based assessments.The decision was made to take a bold step to engage the broader community to look forward to the next 10 years to fully implement the best public education possible for every child, in every school, every day. This is the report on Phase 1 which took place between March and June 2012 in “Mapping the Next 10 years”.
During the last decade, while No Child Left Behind policies forced a disproportionate amount of attention on narrow test scores in math and English language arts, determined groups of teachers, community leaders and administrators were busy working with education researchers to refine tools and thinking frames for project based learning across the curriculum, in math, English language arts, history, social science, science, and the visual and performing arts. Today, California leaders are preparing for the 2014-2015 school year when standardized tests will be replaced with a new generation of performance assessments aligned to California common core standards. This marks the opportunity for a new era in public education.
A new approach to working together was developed, inspired by the work of Margaret Wheatley, and her book, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. The approach was to catalyze self-organized, strategic, values-based conversations as a means for creating a shared vision and a collective roadmap to the future. The entire process was informed by Collective Impact theory, as articulated by John Kania and Mark Kramer in the Stanford Social Innovation Review issue (month, date) where they argue that large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations, and that five conditions are necessary for collective success: a common agenda, shared measurement systems (what constitutes success?), identification of mutually reinforcing activities and complimentary expertise, continuous communication, and back bone organizations to guide the collective efforts.
This was a strategy to interrupt business as usual and to encourage and empower individuals interested in this common agenda to convene conversations with personal networks, within and across organizations, workplaces and at Alliance for ALL meetings to listen deeply, understand multiple perspectives, and identify shared values.
Between March and June, more than 280 people representing 50+ organizations from 8 counties participated in self-organized, face-to-face conversations. 53 participants shared what they discussed in 80 posts and 63 comments on the blog allianceforall.wordpress.com - a virtual hub that was established to support ongoing communication across organizations, institutions and individuals
These individuals connect across schools, organizations and projects, and are connected by a shared desire to do more than accomplish good work, but to populate a social change movement to transform public education. The Alliance for ALL Steering Committee involved volunteer community members in a Synthesis Team that met monthly April – June 2012 to make sense of the conversations that were happening, and to reflect this back to the larger community for further dialogue and synthesis.
These steps will require mindset shifts that we must all undergo:From a focus on discreet standards and narrow curriculum TO a focus on integrated, project based and interdisciplinary learning that engages and supports the Whole Child, From a series of successful organizations, events and projects TO a Whole Community that works in intelligent and intentional coordination to assure that every child learns, grows and develops to their greatest potential and makes their full contribution to the common goodFrom strategies that address issues in isolation, to strategies that acknowledge that issues of a robust, healthy and safe environment, economy, and community are interdependent issues that must be addressed from a Whole System perspective The ability to solve social, environmental and economic issues is dependent on assuring that our nation’s children all have access to a complete education that prepares then to find new solutions to these challenges
Phase II of “Mapping the Next 10 Years” takes place September 2012 – March 2013 . Phase II engages strategic stakeholder groups to answer the questions of:What necessary shifts must take place in thinking and in relationshipsWhat will constitute success and what we will share accountability for as a communityWhat roles and responsibilities will institutions and organizations play
One component of success in Collective impact is a Governance and Infrastructure to support the process. This is an opportunity for the Alliance for ALL to create a cross sector infrastructure to sustain and support community engagement and public education improvements.A toolkit is being developed, as well as a Phase II blog, to scaffold stakeholder conversations and communicate across sectors about issues of:Complimentary expertiseMutually reinforcing activitiesMeasuring what mattersCommunicating indicators and progress toward successBackbone organizations that will take responsibility for collective impact
The theme for March 2013 Art IS Education is Every Child Is Creative. One action step for this year’s Art IS Education is for schools, youth groups, institutions and organizations to create mandalas around the theme and the shared vision to assure the potential of every child is achieved through access to creative learning.Creating a group mandala is a unifying experience in which people can express themselves individually within a unified structure. These expressions of unity will be exhibited in public spaces and shared on the website www.artiseducation.org
A Phase II blog will be created to post and share the stakeholder group conversations, as well as to continue, deepen and share values-based community conversations. A report on the metrics for change, and leadership role designations is expected to be disseminated in April 2013 – and the work, the conversations, and the community wide dialogue will continue.
Mapping the Next 10 Years Phase 1 and 2
Mapping theNext Years 10An Emerging Roadmap to TransformPublic Education through the ArtsAugust 2012Presented by theAlliance for Arts Learning Leadership
A Window of Opportunity• 10 years of strategic planning and demonstrated success across multiple organizations• No Child Left Behind policies giving way to new national and statewide education priorities for deeper learning and performance based assessments aligned to common core standards Collectively look forward to the next 10 years, and acknowledge, celebrate and strengthen the partnerships, assets, and experience that have already been established, in order to inform what works in education so that we can deeply engage all students in school today, and fully prepare them for success in the future.
A Different Approach to Planning Conversations Collective (Building Outreach Impact Muscle) Phase 1: March – July 2012 Phase 2 Phase 3―I believe we can change the world if we start listening to oneanother again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation,negotiation, problem-solving, debate, or public meetings. Simple,truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, weeach feel heard, and we each listen well.‖ —Meg Wheatley, Turning to One Another
Phase 1: Conversations (BuildingMuscle) Catalyze strategic conversations. Self-organized, strategic conversations using ―Conversations-In-A- Leave a trail. Box‖ as guidance. Key takeaways from conversations were shared in a blog. Synthesize. Volunteers synthesized what they heard and fed summaries and provocative questions back into the community.
Our Organizing FrameworkHow can wecollectivelytransformpubliceducationthrough theartsto createa betterfuturefor everyone?
AEP Forum Alameda County Arts Commission Alameda County Board of Education Alameda County Office of Education Berkeley Unified School District CSU East Bay CSU Northridge Cal Performances California Academy of Sciences California PTA Castro Valley High School Civicorps De Young Museum Dublin Unified School District Envision Learning Partners Exploratorium Hearst Museum of Anthropology Hewlett Foundation IMSS ISKME Jefferson Elementary Justice Matters KQED Leslie University MOCHA McKinley Elementary Mills Teacher Scholars Muir Middle School Oakland Leadership Academy Oakland Museum Oakland Unified School District Oakland Youth Chorus Peralta PTA Performing Arts Workshop Rex Foundation SFMOMA SLANT San Francisco Ballet San Francisco Boys Choir San Francisco Brown Bag Collaborative San Francisco State University San Francisco Unified School District San Jose Unified School District San Leandro Unified School District San Mateo County of EducationMore than 280 people representing 50+ Streetside Stories Photo credit Sunol-Glen Unified School Districtorganizations from 8 counties participated in self- Teaching Artists Organized University of San Franciscoorganized, face-to-face conversations from March Vida Studios Visual Thinking Strategiesthrough June 2012. West Ed
We created an open blog for participants to share key insights from their conversations and to “build muscle” for online engagement. 80 blog posts from 36 different people. 63 comments from 17 different people. Several community members went beyond sharing their face-to-face Photo credit conversations and began an activehttp://allianceforall.wordpress.com/ dialogue online.
Listening Conversations Synthesis A Collective Vision and Three Steps Toward that VisionFour months of conversations and deep listening led to the realization that thiscommunity has a lot more in common than we originally thought. Out of theseconversations emerged a collective vision and three steps toward that vision.
Our VisionTo maximize everychild’s potential byproviding them withthe creative learningthey need to besuccessful.This will not only create a better futurefor every child, but for everyone.In order to solve social, environmental, and economic challenges, we need toassure that our nation’s children all have access to a complete education thatprepares them to grapple with these challenges.
1. Build on What’s WorkingAs a result of previous work, a regional professional development system has beenestablished in the Bay Area that connects the amazing professional developmentopportunities in the community (through Teaching Artists Organized) to theIntegrated Learning Specialist Program, which builds leadership capacity in schoolsthat demonstrate the power of the arts to deepen and improve learning.
2. Map our AssetsIdentify the differentkinds of leadershipthat are currentlybeing practiced.Expand the leadershipso that it is diverse andconnected.Determine benchmarks for success.
3. Think and Act TogetherThis requires that we honor everyone’s reality andhumanity, and that we shift our mindsets.
Mindset Shifts Required Focus on integrated, project-based, Focus on discreet standards and narrow curriculum interdisciplinary learning that supports the Whole Child Whole Community that works in intelligent Siloed organizations, events, projects and intentional coordination to assure that every child learns Strategies that Strategies that address address issues from a issues in isolation Whole System perspective
The ResultA resilient andresponsive networkof public support to achievecollective impact.
Phase IIKey Questions What shifts will this require? How will this reshape our relationships? What will our benchmarks for success be? Who should take responsibility for the work that emerges, and how will this happen? What role will you play in creating this future?
Phase II : September – March 2013 The Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership Steering Committee Will Work With Stakeholder Groups to Form a Cross Sector Infrastructure Performance Assessment Support Providers Youth Development and Public Health Leaders Parent Leaders Major Arts Organizations and Teaching Artists Organized Teachers and Teacher Unions District Superintendents and School Board Members Higher Education Partners Funders and Business Leaders
EVERY CHILD IS CREATIVE – ART IS EDUCATION MARCH 2013March 2013 offers an opportunity toengage communities and build public will
A RESILIENT AND UNITED COMMUNITYMaking A Collective Impact