Advocacy Update

Read on to see what’s happening in Lansing and how it may affect you: 
 

Proposed Changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum 

  • Both the house and senate education committees are focused on revamping the Michigan Merit Curriculum. This curriculum, passed in 2006, lays out the requirements for graduation in Michigan high schools. One of the biggest sticking points has been the Algebra II requirement, though the introduced bills are also aiming to increase local choice and flexibility, especially attempting to make room for more career and technical education (CTE) options. I wrote about the house bills (4269/4270) here, and the recent senate bills (600/601) here. MMEA is opposing these bills because they scrap the current 1-credit arts requirement. Neither set of bills has received a full chamber vote, but this is expected in 2020.

MMEA Advocacy Video Released

  • Using grant funding from the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation, MMEA produced our first ever advocacy video, featuring students from the East Lansing Public Schools. We hope this video may be a helpful addition to MMEA members’ concerts, may be embedded on members’ websites, or may be shown at booster and/or board meetings as a way to emphasize the value of music education in children’s lives. Special thanks to CMA and the East Lansing Public Schools for their support of this project.  

Michigan’s Parental Dashboard and Arts Indicators 

  • Several years ago, an arts education working group led by MMEA met with the Michigan Department of Education to offer recommendations for the parent dashboard. This dashboard offers data on all of Michigan’s public schools. Three important arts related indicators can now be found: 1) the ratio of students to instructional staff and number of qualified teaching staff (i.e., endorsed music specialists), 2) school-reported “points of pride” showcasing arts and music courses and activities provided at the school, and 3) specific “access to K-8 arts/PE” info, collected for reporting to the US Department of Education. We consider this an important step in recognizing the important work districts are doing to ensure access to a quality music education. 

2020 Music Education Advocacy Day Scheduled 

  • The Michigan Music Education Association (MMEA), in collaboration with the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA), will celebrate our 5th-annual Music Education Advocacy Day on Thursday, April 14, 2020 at the State Capitol (Lansing). Representatives from each of these associations will meet with legislators and the state board of education throughout the day to discuss the importance of music education in Michigan schools. A performance featuring ensembles from K-12 Michigan schools will be presented from 12-1 PM in the Glass Floor Rotunda. If you are interested in attending, please contact me at rshaw@msu.edu. If you are interested in attending or have any questions/input concerning music education policy or advocacy, please email Ryan Shaw, MMEA Governmental Relations Coordinator at rshaw@msu.edu