On the eve of the 108th birthday of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the best possible present was handed to us: recognition of music as a core subject in draft federal education policy.
This is an unprecedented enumeration in proposed federal legislation.
This is an incredibly exciting day, and we are all so proud to represent the work that you do for young people, in schools and institutions of higher learning, all across the country. Thank you for your passion, persistence, and patience—YOU have earned this. Please take a moment to celebrate before we get back to it!
There Is Power in Numbers
Early this year, NAfME mobilized music advocates to send more than 10,000 letters to their lawmakers-and the result is a new bipartisan Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) proposal, the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015,” that retains the core academic subject section from No Child Left Behind, and, additionally, adds “music” as a specifically enumerated core academic subject.
“This is game-changing news,” said NAfME Assistant Executive Director Chris Woodside. “This is an enormous achievement, and the DIRECT result of the incredible grassroots advocacy efforts of our members over the past few months. Today we are celebrating our members as we celebrate this crucial step forward.”
“The benefits of listing the arts as core demonstrate the importance of recognizing our nation’s education priorities at the federal level,” Woodside wrote recently in Roll Call. “The elimination of core academic subjects from ESEA would jeopardize national efforts to ensure that all students, regardless of race or economic status, have access to high quality school music programs. . . . music advocates . . . must engage with Congress to urge the inclusion of music in federal statute.”
As the Senate HELP Committee marks up this new proposal next week, NAfME will be present during those deliberations, standing for our members, in order to ensure that this crucial language is preserved in the draft.
Giving Credit Where It Is Due
We owe it to our members, who have stood by us for more than a century, for making NAfME the National Voice for Music Education. Founded 108 years ago this week, in 1907, NAfME today represents 140,000 student and teacher members who are members of our middle/junior- and senior-high school Tri-M Music Honor Societies, Collegiate NAfME chapters on campuses around the nation, and our more than 60,000 PreK-12 music teachers, who work daily to ensure our students receive a quality music education-which prepares them for the 21st century workplace.
Again, we thank each and everyone of you for your hard work in and out of the classroom to ensure that EVERY student has access to quality music education. BRAVO!