This summer, the Senate debated rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as The Every ChildAchieves Act S.1177) and on July 15, 2015, they voted to pass and reauthorize this bill at an overwhelming majority of 86-12 with some new and exciting changes to the music education world.
But just how much or little of an impact will this have on music education? Bob Morrison, CEO of Quadrant Research, illuminated exactly how the bill would and would not impact music education.
- This bill would name music and arts as core academic subjects! This will allow these core academic subjects eligibility for a series of initiatives to help expand national access to music/arts education.
- This would help prevent students from being pulled out of music and arts classes.
- This would list music as a standalone subject and help give an easier definition behind the “arts.”
- This would not make music part of the Common Core. The Common Core is to show that English and Math are learned at the end of every year.
- This would not require music to be subjected to standardized testing. No one is willing to test music and [the bill] is aimed at cutting back on federally mandated testing.
- This would not mean that Congress delegates what Music Education teachers teach, what qualifications they have etc. This bill is designed to cut back on the overreach of the federal government.
Bob Morrison says,
“The new explicit inclusion of music, when signed into law, will set the stage for future advancement of the field. No longer will there be discussions by lawmakers in states regarding whether or not the word “arts” includes music (it does and it did when it was added to Goals 2000, but has become somewhat obfuscated over the years). The “music” call out will bring this to an end. This accomplishment will create the positive conditions to further empower state and local leaders to advance music education with a clearly articulated federal imprimatur about music’s role as an equal partner in the education of our students.”
Little Kids Rock’s mission has been to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to unlock their inner music makers. We hope that the passing of this bill will help bring public schools across the country one step closer to making that happen!
For more detailed information about the bill, please visit the National Association for Music Educators website: www.nafme.org!
Written by Natalie Morrison