Music Education Policy Roundup – November 7, 2018

NAfME News

Title IV Success Story

ALF Member James Daugherty and Davidson County Schools were featured in a local news publication highlighting the district’s use of Title IV-A funds to support music and arts education. Thearticle is included in this email at the top of the “State News” section – be sure to check it out!

Title IV Toolkit has been updated and expanded for you!

With great input from advocacy leaders across the country, we have updated the Title IV-A Toolkit. You can find the new version here.

National News

‘Election Day Educator Pledge’ Circulates Online

The pledge, which has been signed by high school and college educators alike, states that signers will “make every effort to accommodate students as they seek to participate in our democracy,” including by recording classes, distributing notes, excusing absences, or rescheduling classes.

The pledge, which reads in part: “We hope that all students, no matter who they support, will make their voices heard at the ballot box this November” also notes that in 2014, less than 20% of 18-29 year olds voted.

Former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright (now a professor at Georgetown) and John Kerry (at Yale) and former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (UChicgao) have all signed the pledge.

Education Is on the Ballot This November

November ballots will include more than just choices between elected officials; in at least 35 states, voters will also have to decide whether to accept or reject roughly 150 policy and funding questions in the form of ballot measures.

While these ballot measures will cover a range of important issues, the recent teacher walkouts and student protests against insufficient school funding have put education at the forefront of many voters’ minds. In 15 states across the country, there are 20 confirmed ballot measures that could generate more than $2 billion in revenue for public education and represent public referendums on important education policy issues, such as private school vouchers.

Court win for student loan protections a setback for DeVos

A federal court on Tuesday cleared the way for Obama-era student loan borrower protections to take effect, handing a defeat to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she fought for more than a year to stop the rules.

The rules make it easier for defrauded students to get their federal loans forgiven and they also prohibit colleges from forcing students to resolve complaints through arbitration, rather than going to court.

State News

Davidson County Schools gets academic enrichment grant

Art, music and physical education teachers in the Davidson County Schools system have received a boost in the form of extra funding for their programming this school year thanks to a federal academic enrichment grant.

James Daugherty, instructional program specialist for fine arts for Davidson County [North Carolina] Schools [and NAfME member], said this is the second year that the school system has received funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, a Title IV block grant under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Amendment 73 portrayed as both lifeline and drag to Colorado’s underfunded schools

Critics charge Colorado’s Amendment 73, the ballot initiative that promises to be a $1.6 billion lifeline for the state’s underfunded schools, is really just a camouflaged pipeline set up to feed an already bloated and top-heavy public education system.

They argue Colorado has a track record of funneling education funding to central offices and school-level administrators rather than into classrooms.

But supporters of Amendment 73, which appears on the November ballot, counter that those detractors are using math tricks to skew the on-the-ground needs of cash-strapped schools in Colorado, and ignoring the complex jobs of today’s school administrators.

Colorado University at Boulder guarantees admission for high school students who study education

Some Colorado high school students can now guarantee their admission to the University of Colorado’s School of Education for next year.

CU partnered with two concurrent enrollment programs, Teacher Cadet and Pathways2Teaching, to extend the admissions guarantee, according to a CU news release Thursday. Both programs offer college readiness courses and a way for students to learn about teaching as a career path.

Tennessee sides with Memphis and Nashville boards in rejecting four new charter schools

Pitches by four charter groups to open new schools in Memphis and Nashville fell short on Friday as Tennessee’s State Board of Education affirmed the decisions of local school boards to reject their applications.

Voting with recommendations from its staff, the State Board unanimously denied the appeals based on shortcomings in the groups’ plans for academics, operations, or finances

New Mexico Legislature considers higher ed reforms

New Mexico’s public higher education system includes about 31 schools run by 21 different boards.

Despite perennial debate over how to better organize the state’s Byzantine system of colleges and universities, the only thing lawmakers and state officials seemed to agree on during a hearing last week was that there is little political will to consolidate schools.

Legislative staff are recommending lawmakers consider one possible change in the coming year: a council to oversee New Mexico’s colleges and universities.

Research and Analysis

Tennessee teacher evaluations highlighted in national report

Quality, comprehensive teacher evaluations have real benefits for both educators and students, says a new report highlighting Tennessee’s model.

Tennessee is a pioneer in the way it evaluates teachers and how it coincides with improved student achievement, according to the report, Making a Difference: Six Places Where Teacher Evaluation Systems are Getting Results, by the National Council on Teacher Quality released Thursday.