Dear CMEA Member:
The Annual CMEA-led Stand Up 4 Music (SU4M) Coalition Convening was held on January 25, 2015 at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim. Leaders from the Coalition’s partnering organizations were in attendance.
SU4M includes the following partnering organizations in 2015:
-California Music Educators Association (CMEA);
-National Association for Music Education (NAfME);
-California Band Directors Association (CBDA);
-California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (CA ACDA);
-California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA);
-California Alliance for Jazz (CAJ);
-Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA);
-Northern California Band Directors Association (NCBDA);
-Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA);
-Music Association of California Community Colleges (MACCC);
-California American String Teachers Association (Cal ASTA); and,
-Northern California Band Association (NCBA).
The Coalition (http://www.standup4music.org/) met to collaboratively determine the Coalition’s 2015 Policy Priorities for our music education advocacy work:
•Priority 1: Advocating for State adoption of the new arts standards, informed by the National Core Arts Standards for music, is the top priority for the Coalition in 2015. CMEA and the SU4M Coalition are working to introduce a bill that will require the State Board of Education to direct State Superintendent Tom Torlakson to have the California Department of Education enact new Visual and Performing Arts Standard by 2017. California's current standards were adopted in 2001, fourteen years ago. California must lead in arts education, and new standards will provide better-alignment with teacher training at universities and colleges, and new curriculum development, thus positively impacting teaching and learning.
•Priority 2: Ensuring access to music education for all California students through compliance with the Education Code is the Coalition’s second priority in 2015. Each local governing board is responsible for compliancy with the Education Code that addresses arts education (i.e., Section 51210, music and the arts instruction is mandatory in Grades K-6; Section 51220, music and arts courses must be offered in Grades 7-12). CMEA and SU4M will look at launching a campaign to educate the public about the fact that music education is required in California’s public schools.
•Priority 3: Working to address the effects of AB 1575 is the third priority of the Coalition in 2015. Governor Brown signed a bill in 2012 that strictly regulates the collection of student fees in the public schools. While the bill ensures a “free and appropriate education” for all California students in accordance with California’s Constitution, many music programs have experienced difficulty in finding ways to fully fund music education activities and objectives as a result. CMEA and SU4M will work to support music educators with the implementation of AB 1575.
•Priority 4: Working to include music education in the new Academic Performance Index (API) is the fourth priority of CMEA and the SU4M Coalition in 2015. SB 1458, passed into law in 2012, requires that 40% of a high school’s API will need to consist of items outside of standardized testing by 2016. CMEA and SU4M will continue to advocate for including whether or not a school has a music education program as part of the new formula so as to hold schools accountable with Education Code compliance.
In addition to these policy priorities, the SU4M Coalition will monitor the following items:
•Monitor: Local Control Funding Formula Implementation- Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) provides new state funding to school districts in alignment of eight state priorities. There is potential for K-12 students to benefit from these funds by increasing music education in schools. CMEA and SU4M will monitor the effects of the LCFF through anecdotal review of Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP’s). CMEA, in collaboration with other professional arts organizations, will contribute to the creation of an LCAP Template for credentialed arts educators in 2015.
•Monitor: Impending Music Teacher Shortage- CMEA and SU4M will work with the California Department of Education and other members of the Education Coalition to address the teacher shortage in California Public Schools. The California Teachers Association projects the need for 100,000 new teachers in California over the next five years. California will need to recruit out-of-state teachers in the field of music education, as well as provide clear, concise information necessary to facilitate ease of access to the requirements necessary for completing the Single Subject Credential in Music.
•Monitor: Keep the Eight Priorities for the LCAP- The eight state priorities of the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, give focus to specific ways in which arts education may be funded. These are: student achievement, other student outcomes, course access, common core state standards, core services, student engagement, parent involvement, and school climate. There is a move to eliminate these priority areas, and such a decision would potentially narrow the focus of the LCFF, making it more difficult for music education to be funded via the eight state priorities. CMEA and SU4M will advocate for keeping the current structure in place for the LCAP.
•Monitor: Oppose a Teaching Artist Certification- The recommendation to create a Teaching Artist Certification is included in the recently-released CREATE Blueprint (http://createca.net/?page_id=15). CMEA and Stand Up 4 Music oppose an alternative certification program for non-credentialed artists. The Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music ensures that California students receive quality music instruction from a highly skilled music educator. In order to retain a quality level of instruction without creating redundancy by developing a new credential, CMEA and SU4M believe that all who pursue a career in music education must attain a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music.
•Monitor: Oppose a VAPA Umbrella Credential- CMEA and SU4M will continue to work to ensure that the CA Single Subject Credential in Music remains intact and the idea of a "VAPA" umbrella credential does not get implemented. In 2014, CMEA and SU4M put to rest the idea of a VAPA Credential when it opposed the idea with staff from the California Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
•Monitor: Support use of Title I funds for Music Education- Under current Federal Guidelines, Title I monies may be used to fund supplemental music and arts instruction supporting Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, goals. CMEA and SU4M will continue to support all school stakeholders, including students, music teachers, administrators, and parents, with gaining access to federal funds for music education to achieve their school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) goals.
•Monitor: Advocate for adequate funding for California Community Colleges- Funding for music education at the California Community Colleges is limited. New requirements make it difficult for students to access music education classes due to course repeatability issues and ramifications of the Associate Degree for Transfer, or ADT. CMEA and SU4M will work with the Music Association of California Community Colleges to advocate for more funding for music programs at this level, improving the issues with course access being experienced by students.
More information on the work of the Stand Up 4 Music Coalition may be found at: http://www.standup4music.org/
Michael D. Stone, President
California Music Educators Association (CMEA)