ADVOCACY ALERT: Make sure Music is at the Table!

Make sure that Music and the Arts is included when the Department of Education creates its funding plan around the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’!

The Every Student Succeeds Act

From the Indiana Department of Education Website:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law on December 10, 2015. It reauthorizes the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was previously reauthorized as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
The Indiana Department of Education is currently in the process of determining how the requirements of ESSA will translate into state education practice: which state practices will evolve as a result of ESSA, and which will remain the same. As a part of this work, the state remains committed to its mission of building an education system of equity and high quality that is focused on student-centered accountability.


Add to the public comment which will be considered by the Indiana Department of Education when they draft their plan for ESSA implementation (link below).

Please consider the following talking points:
Music is listed as a Core Subject in ESSA. Nope. It’s not. There are no core subjects in ESSA. Instead, music is listed for the first time in federal law as part of the list of subjected included in a well-rounded education.

The focus of ESSA is on a well-rounded education. Music and the Arts provides children with the tools they need to be creative thinkers and engaged learners. 2nd sentence is correct. But first sentence is inaccurate. Better to say that ESSA includes a focus on a well-rounded education, including music and the arts. Then the 2nd sentence.

Instead of High Stakes testing, ESSA now allows for schools to use intangible measures in assessment that include school culture. Music and the Arts enhance school culture and student attitudes toward education. This is partially correct. High stakes testing is still part of the law. So – try something like “ESSA allows states to add to what gets measured as part of the state’s accountability system. This can include music and arts -friendly measures, such as including access and participation rates in music and the arts for all schools and all students.”
Section 1009 mandates that schools ‘minimize the removal of children from the regular classroom during regular school hours for instruction provided under this part’ (pull-outs for remediation should be limited). This is correct – so the state doesn’t do much with this (except make certain it’s followed). I don’t know if this helps as a talking point or just a good “do you know” fact for music educators?

District based in-service development rarely provides coaching that is applicable to the music classroom. Professional Development monies in Titles I, II and IV should be provided equitably to teachers in music whose classrooms are very different from the classrooms of their colleagues. This one is spot on – thanks!

Under ESSA, schools are expected to assess their ability to provide a well-rounded education, including music and the arts. On top of that, schools can use federal dollars to address any deficiencies they find in their ability to give students experiences with those subject areas.

Public Comment Link

IDOE Listening Tour

The talking points above may also be used during the IDOE’s listening tour. These in person meetings are the first opportunity to make an impact for music education.

Sites are located throughout the state and many dates coming up soon! We hope you’ll consider bringing a parent and a friend to at least one of these listening tour events! Remaining dates and locations are below.

09/29/16 Portage Portage High School
4:30 p. m. – 6:30 p.m. 6450 US Hwy 6
Portage, IN 46368

10/04/16 Richmond McGuire Hall
4:30 p. m. – 6:30 p.m.
350 Hub Etchison Pkwy
Richmond, IN 47374

10/05/16 New Albany Education Support Center
4:30 p. m. – 6:30 p.m.
2813 Grant Line Road
New Albany, IN 47150

10/06/16 South Bend Monroe Primary
4:30 p. m. – 6:30 p.m.
312 Donmoyer Avenue
South Bend, IN 46614

10/11/16 Terre Haute West Vigo Elementary
4:30 p. m. – 6:30 p.m.
501 W. Olive Street
Terre Haute, IN 47885

10/12/16 Kokomo Taylor High School
4:30 p. m. – 6:30 p.m.
3794 E CR 300 S
Kokomo, IN 46902

More Tools

Learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act through these tools:

Indiana Department of Education ESSA Site
NAfME ESSA Toolkit