Monday, January 2, 2017

Music Education and the Every Child Achieves Act

Music Education is included in the draft of the Every Child Achieves Act as a core subject. Since this Act is widely directed at explicitly outlining historically Federalist budgets controlled by each state, it is taking an unprecedented step in showing state lawmakers what needs to be addressed in their education budgets. However, don’t get too excited just yet as music doesn’t appear in the 600 page Bill until page 367 when is says “…use music and the arts as a tool to promote constructive student engagement, problem solving and conflict resolution…”
Then there is a catch, the next word is “OR”.
This gives states a directive to choose between music education or developing “understanding of and knowledge in computer science from elementary school through secondary school.” So what do you think most if not all school districts will pick, especially when faced with diminishing budgets that target for increased spending on educational technologies?
The main benefit comes to us on page 529 where it lists the proposed Core Academic Subjects: English, Language Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Foreign Languages, Civics and Government, Economics, Arts, History, Geography, Computer Science, Music, and Physical Education, and “any other subject as determined by the State or local educational agency”.
How can we schedule all of these core subjects for all students in elementary through secondary education? The devil will be in the details when assessment measurements are outlined. Even if each of the core subjects are addressed only partially in an academic year, only limited time and attention can be spent on the “lesser cores” of the Every Child Achieves Act list. Oh well. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

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