Advocacy: Our vision for music and arts education
First, every preschool through post-secondary student in the state should have an education in music and the arts.
Second, to ensure a basic education in the arts for all students, the arts must be included as serious, core academic subjects. A core discipline requires sequential curricula throughout the grades, regular time-on-task, qualified teachers, appropriate arts facilities, and high quality instructional materials.
Third, education policy should incorporate recent research substantiating the fact that music and arts education have a unique ability to communicate the ideas and emotions of the human spirit, and connect us to our history, democratic traditions, heritage and culture.
Fourth, qualified arts teachers at all grade levels are essential for quality instruction in arts education. Teachers of the arts should have knowledge and experience with the arts and humanities appropriate to the grade level and arts discipline(s) they will teach. Such instruction should also address diverse learning styles of all students, inclusive of race, culture, religion, socio-economic factors and disability. To ensure the maintenance of quality arts education, there must be ongoing professional development for teachers and administrators.
Fifth, arts education programs, grounded in rigorous instruction and taught during the regular school day, should include assessment of student academic progress and performance.
Sixth, an alliance of diverse stakeholders is the most effective means for advancing the arts in education. Alliances include schools and districts with artists and community resources, parents and parent organizations with educators, school and district partnerships with business and industry, and school and district partnerships with arts providers.
Seventh, arts education must be adequately funded at the district and state levels.