Approximately 5,000 teachers marched in Washington today. Michael Alison Chandler and Sarah Khan wrote about the march for the Washington Post. According to the article, Sonya Romera flew from from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to attend because “No Child Left Behind is demoralizing New Mexico.”
Her school is one of the majority of schools in the state labeled as “failing” under the No Child Left Behind law.
Under that “failing” label, Romero’s school has cut back time for physical education and recess, and she has been required to use a new reading curriculum, she said. The regimen “stifles imagination,” she said.
The National Association for Music Education and seven other music associations wrote Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a letter responding to his open letter to teachers (see previous post). “In your letter, you mentioned that you have met many teachers who are willing to be held accountable for outcomes over which they have some control. We agree wholeheartedly. We urge you to work with your colleagues in the United States Congress to ensure that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides a reasonable relationship among music teacher responsibility, state and local curricular control, and accountability, ” the letter stated.
The music groups asked the Department of Education to collect data on the presence of music programs across the nation “so that Americans can be assured that our students are receiving a well-rounded education, and so that music advocates can better understand how to apply their resources.”
The letter, dated May 10, 2011, was signed by The National Association for Music Education – MENC, American String Teachers Association, Chorus America, League of American Orchestras, Music Publishers Association of the United States, Music Teachers National Association, National Association of Schools of Music, and National Guild for Community Arts Education
In an open letter to America’s teachers, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently wrote “You have told me you believe that the No Child Left Behind Act has prompted some schools—especially low-performing ones—to teach to the test, rather than focus on the educational needs of students. Because of the pressure to boost test scores, NCLB has narrowed the curriculum, and important subjects like history, science, the arts, foreign languages, and physical education have been de-emphasized.”
Duncan said, “Together with you, I want to develop a system of evaluation that draws on meaningful observations and input from your peers, as well as a sophisticated assessment that measures individual student growth, creativity, and critical thinking.”