Chris Woodside’s Letter to the Policy Research Community

Dear Policy Researchers,

I am writing to give you an update on activities that have taken place since our last policy phone call.  I welcome your feedback on any of the below issues.

ESEA Reauthorization

NAfME has been closely following the competing ESEA bills proposed by members of the House and Senate, and NAfME staff attended multiple days of markups of Senator Harkin’s bill.  (A recent EdWeek article offers a succinct table summarizing the bills.) The Music Education Policy Roundtable has released a statement applauding Senator Harkin’s bill.  NAfME also publicly thanked George Miller’s (D-California) substitute amendment to Representative Kline’s bill that was unfortunately defeated during the markup process.

National Center on Time & Learning Report

On June 5, 2013, the National Center on Time and Learning (NCTL) released a new report entitled “Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day:  Lessons from Five Schools“ that presents case studies from five schools that are offering increased arts education by expanding the length of the school day. In NAfME’s response to the report, we applauded the organization’s efforts to provide students greater access to arts education while noting concerns over the emphasis on arts integration rather than stand-alone arts classes.

Additional Reports/Statements

NAfME leaders discussed a June 2013 report released by the National Council on Teacher Quality.  While the leaders do not support the authors’ methodology and findings, because the report did not address music education specifically, they chose not to issue a statement in response.

On June 18, 2013, the Center for American Progress released a report, New Organizations, New Voices, detailing the role of newly formed grassroots groups in empowering teachers to shape education policies. 

On June 18, 2013, Secretary Duncan announced new flexibility for the states that had received waivers from selected mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Hill Day

On Friday, June 28th, 5 undergraduate music education majors and national music education leaders from across the country, including current president Nancy Ditmer, incoming president Glenn Nierman, and past president Scott Shuler, advocated for music education on Capitol Hill (over 140 music education advocates, in total, visited with members of Congress).  A full list of “asks” from Hill Day has been attached.  Attendees reported many positive and substantive conversations with members of congress and their staffs.  

This is the first year that collegiate students have been a part of Hill Day.  Next year, NAfME plans to encourage more collegiate students to attend and to offer additional training and activities for them.

Policy Research Agenda

I wanted to remind you that NAfME has created an evolving policy research agenda that can be found at 

Upcoming Policy Phone Call

I plan to schedule another policy research phone call for late September/early October.  The phone call will be open to anyone who is interested in music education policy research.

Again, I am always open to engage in dialogue about these and other policy/advocacy issues.  Feel free to contact me at any time.  I hope that your fall is enjoyable, and I look forward to our next group conversation.


Christopher Woodside, 
Assistant Executive Director

Center for Advocacy and Public Affairs
National Association for Music Education
1806 Robert Fulton Drive
Reston, VA 20191