Quality State Reporting to Better Serve Music Education
Enacting the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), with music listed as part of a well-rounded education, was a significant development for the field of music education. With this victory has come great responsibility for music education advocates to align other laws and regulations with ESSA’s commitment to providing all students with a well-rounded education. An area of policy that will be helpful in determining ESSA’s ultimate success is ensuring that states engage in quality data reporting that includes music and arts. One way this can be accomplished is through the Consolidated State Performances Report (CSPR), required under ESSA.
What is the CSPR?
Authorized by ESSA, the Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) is a required annual reporting tool administered by the US Department of Education. Part I of the Consolidated State Performance Report collects data related to ESSA goals on proficiency in reading/language arts, mathematics and English language proficiency; and helps to ensure that all students are attending school in environments conducive to learning. Part II of the CSPR collects information related to state activities and outcomes of specific ESSA programs.
The current iteration of the CSPR reflects the priorities under ESSA’s predecessor, No Child Left Behind, and does not include questions on well-rounded subjects and programs. Thus, the reports cannot inform us as to how ESSA dollars are supporting music and arts education across the nation. NAfME is working to collect anecdotal evidence of how music education is being supported by programs such as Title IV, Part A. However, the CSPR can serve as a tremendous added tool by including reporting for well-rounded programs, including music education. Reporting of this kind will help provide lawmakers and regulators with a better idea of whether or not states are meeting the commitment of providing a quality well-rounded education for all students through federal funding.
NAfME Creates Well-Rounded Template for CSPR
ESSA does not simply mention well-rounded education as a good idea; language in the law stipulates that Congress expects schools to take action in order to ensure the vision is realized. An important way to achieve this goal is to institute quality reporting by the states on well-rounded education and programs.
In light of ESSA’s strong commitment to ensuring a well-rounded education, NAfME has created a template for the CSPR by adding components that will be helpful in assessing the availability of access to a well-rounded education, including music and the arts. This template was submitted as part of NAfME’s public comments regarding potential changes to the CSPR on March 23, 2018. Several members of the Music Education Policy Roundtable, as well as our colleagues in the larger arts education community, signed on in support of these comments.
NAfME’s CSPR template suggests the following reporting:
- Student participation in well-rounded subjects, by each distinct subject, in Title I, Part A Targeted Assistance .
- Reporting on Local Education Agency’s (LEA) use of Title I, Part A set-aside funds for parental involvement, including any connection to a well-rounded education as outlined in Title VIII, Part .
- The number of Title I, Part A schoolwide programs that include activities to support a well-rounded education within their schoolwide program plan.
- The number of eligible migrant children reported who received Migrant Education Program funding for reading instruction, mathematics instruction, or high school credit accrual during the performance period.
- LEA use of Rural Low-Income Schools Program (RLIS) Grant Funds.
- Detailed reporting on how LEAs are using Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, including reporting on the number of students benefiting by subject area under a well-rounded education.
In addition to providing the well-rounded education template during the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDOE) public comment period, NAfME also met with USDOE policy staff on two occasions, in efforts to reiterate the need reporting on access to well-rounded education. NAfME will provide future updates as staff continue work with the USDOE to implement reporting that will help policymakers and advocates better understand how music and arts education are benefiting from the availability of ESSA funding across the country.
Tooshar Swain, Public Policy Advisor, May 8, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)