Action Alert: High School Diploma Proposal potentially hinders Fine Arts participation.

The Indiana Music Education Association voices serious concerns about the new Diploma proposal being examined by the State Board of Education.  The new College and Career Ready Diploma (which replaces the Core 40 and Honors Diploma) requirements will limit student access to the arts and will be a detriment to their educational progress. 
1)  All High School students should experience a well-rounded education that includes music and arts.  Fine Arts should not be accessible only to those students who think their career path will involve music or art.  Research on music education consistently shows a correlation to higher academic and personal achievement for students, regardless of socioeconomic background.  If the State Board of Education is truly concerned about College & Career ready — there should be a greater mandate for fine arts in the diploma requirements, not a lesser one.
2)  The proposal under current consideration makes Fine Arts
less accessible to all students.  The Fine Arts ‘option’ is no longer a requirement under this proposal, and is the least attainable concentration for the new Honors Diploma, being tied in with 6 credit hours of world language, leaving only one credit for the arts.  Further, the other tracks for an Honors Diploma contain base requirements that most students will take anyway to get into college.  These guidelines do not encourage students to participate in fine arts — in fact, it dissuades them from participating due to the limited way music and arts may be taken.
3)  The new diploma requirements should focus on providing ways for students to gain necessary 21st century skills such as grit, creativity and improved cognition.  These skills and more are gained through regular participation in a high-quality music education program.
4)  The current diploma proposal is overly prescriptive and does not provide options for local control or student choice when developing a diploma path that will best suit them.  Proposed requirements like World History, Geography and Personal Finance should be viewed as electives that give students and parents the flexibility to decide what is best for them.
Our ask:  The Indiana Music Education Association asks the State Board of Education to make 2 credit hours of fine arts classes a specific requirement in the College and Career ready diploma being considered. Additionally, we ask that the new Diploma requirements provide a measure of flexibility so that students and their parents can make educated decisions about what classes they take beyond the ‘core’, giving them the flexibility to participate in music and fine arts for all 4 years of their High School Careers, if they actively choose to. This ensures all Indiana Learners gain a well-rounded education that helps them gain the necessary 21st century skills that businesses want from the workforce of the future.
View the Indiana State Board of Education Members here.
View the diploma proposal here.