2015 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
On January 13th the Music Education Policy Roundtable, a coalition of likeminded organizations and institutions, advocating for high quality music education in America’s schools, identified its legislative priorities for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Music Education Policy Roundtable has outlined these priorities for Congress: To create policies and teaching environments that give all students access to a well-rounded education which includes high quality instruction in music.
With the goal of soliciting bipartisan support to accomplish these goals on behalf of all students across America, the Music Education Policy Roundtable has identified five key areas of prioritization in this reauthorization:
I. STRENGTHENED STATUS: In order to strengthen the importance of music education in the law, for purposes of both garnering state-level funding and other forms of support, we ask that Congress maintain the core academic subject section in any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
II. INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY: In order to ensure that even the most disadvantaged students have access to high quality music education programs no matter their personal circumstance or background, we ask that Congress strengthen language throughout any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so that it increases clarity as to the availability of such resources for use in this regard.
III. EQUITABLE TEACHER EVALUATION: In order to ensure that music educators are always evaluated by qualified individuals utilizing reliable measures germane to their discipline of study, and to make certain that ultimate accountability for all such measures is directly attributable to music teachers themselves, we ask that Congress offer language in any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, recommending the institutionalizing of this practice.
IV. BALANCED ACCOUNTABILITY: In order to ensure that, in making school district accountability determinations, “well-rounded” factors, such as achievement in music, are considered, in addition to state assessment results in reading/language arts and mathematics, we ask that Congress recognize the reliability of such multiple measures of performance, in developing corresponding State plans, in any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
V. ENHANCED TEACHER PREPARATION: In order to ensure that all federal granting opportunities for purposes of preparing, training, and recruiting high quality teachers and principals include a measure of consideration as to the importance of high quality music and arts education delivery abilities, we ask that Congress insert further clarifying language in any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The National Music Council is a member of the Music Education Policy Roundtable. For more information on the Roundtable and its legislative agenda, including the specific requests as they relate to ESEA Reauthorization, please visit the Roundtable’s website (http://www.nafme.org/take- action/music-education-policy- roundtable/).