A New Day for Music Education that Ensures ‘Every Child Achieves’

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The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee just announced its plan to fix No Child Left Behind, giving music core academic status for the first time ever.

Music Class National Standards
The benefits of listing the arts as core demonstrate the importance of recognizing our nation’s education priorities at the federal level.

For the first time in education history, music has been recognized as a core subject in draft federal education policy. This is an unprecedented enumeration in proposed federal legislation.

Earlier this year, National Association for Music Education (NAfME) mobilized more than 10,000 music education advocates to send letters to their lawmakers—and the result is a new bipartisan Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) proposal, the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015,” that retains the core academic subject section from No Child Left Behind, and, additionally, adds “music” as a specifically enumerated core academic subject. The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced the bipartisan agreement on “fixing ‘No Child Left Behind’” on April 7.

“This is game-changing news,” said NAfME Assistant Executive Director Chris Woodside. “This is an enormous achievement, and the DIRECT result of the incredible grassroots advocacy efforts of our members over the past few months. Today we are celebrating our members as we celebrate this crucial step forward.”

“The benefits of listing the arts as core demonstrate the importance of recognizing our nation’s education priorities at the federal level,” Woodside wrote recently in Roll Call. “The elimination of core academic subjects from ESEA would jeopardize national efforts to ensure that all students, regardless of race or economic status, have access to high quality school music programs. . . . music advocates . . . must engage with Congress to urge the inclusion of music in federal statute.”

As the Senate HELP Committee marks up this new proposal next week, NAfME will be present during those deliberations, standing for our members, in order to ensure that this crucial language is preserved in the draft.

NAfME has been the National Voice for Music Education from the beginning. Founded 108 years ago this week, in 1907, NAfME today represents 140,000 student and teacher members who are members of our middle/junior- and senior-high school Tri-M Music Honor Societies, Collegiate NAfME chapters on campuses around the nation, and particularly our more than 60,000 PreK-12 music teachers, who work daily to ensure our students receive a quality music education—which prepares them for the 21st century workplace. Our Broader MindedTM campaign, the result of recalibrated efforts in music education advocacy requested by our members, explains further those extrinsic and intrinsic benefits of music education.

National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States.

Follow NAfME on Twitter (twitter.com/nafme) and on Facebook (facebook.com/nafme).

Contact: Catherina Hurlburt at NAfME
catherinah(at)nafme(dot)org or (703) 860-4000

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Catherina Hurlburt
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