Petition Drive Progress: Tales from the Missouri MEA Conference

When members of the Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) met January 28-31 in Osage Beach, Missouri, for their 71st Annual In-Service Workshop/Conference, the conference theme was “Listen, Learn, Teach.”

Despite a busy schedule of workshops, sessions and all-state concerts, music educators and students alike took time to sign petitions in support of MENC’s “Petition for Equal Access to Music Education.” MMEA President Paul Copenhaver said MMEA officials collected 531 signatures on petitions during the conference, and he reminded members that additional petitions are available for download on MENC’s Web site.

In addition, MENC President Barbara L. Geer, who spoke at the Missouri conference, rounded up signatures in the conference exhibit hall. Visitors to MENC’s Resource Shop signed petitions, adding more than 80 signatures to the campaign. A number of music teachers and MENC Collegiate members also took petitions home to collect signatures.

MENC Shop visitors also contributed to the “Change Drive to Change Education” which is helping to raise funds to boost the profile of music education with the new Obama Administration.

MENC’s goal for the petition and change drive is to “Change Music Education for the Better.” All petitions collected will be delivered to Education Secretary Arne Duncan during a rally at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC, on June 18. Petitions should be mailed back to MENC by mid-April. MENC hopes to collect 1,000,000 signatures to make a big impression during the rally, which music educators, students and other friends of music education will attend.

Roz Fehr, February 5, 2009. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education