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Confirming what math, english, and other academic teachers have known for generations, recent research indicates a strong correlation between student academic achievement and musical performance. Although a distinct causal relationship between these activities still remains elusive for researchers to pin down, a growing body of evidence asserts that students who excel in their academic classes – students who actually study, do their homework, read books, and pursue good grades in subjects like the sciences and humanities – are also better musicians, with more highly developed rhythmic skills, more accurate intonation, and stronger abilities to concentrate and memorize.
This is good news for music educators across the country, who are always looking for new ways to improve student performance and motivation in band, orchestra, choir, and other ensembles. School districts all over the United States are taking action steps based on these enlightening new scientific findings, expecting to see dramatic increases in the quality of their music programs as increasing numbers of students opt to take more rigorous honors and Advanced Placement® (AP®) classes in hopes of improving their chances of winning a seat in a more advanced wind ensemble, being selected for the honors choir, or simply moving up a chair in orchestra.
Parents and teachers across the nation have become increasingly disappointed with the current implementation of standardized testing in U.S. schools – and now, some of these assessment advocates have organized and formed ARM: the Assessment Reform Movement.
In recognition of the tremendous need to create more data for our data-driven education models, ARM seeks to educate teachers, parents, and students about the critical importance of assessments, and to encourage a dramatic increase in the use of these vital educational tools in our schools over the next five years.
In the wake of the recent news that the U.S. Senate has passed the Every Child Achieves Act, proponents of SHAME Education in our schools are taking a more vocal stand about the controversial new approach to K – 12 education. “The inclusion of music and arts education as acknowledged core subjects is a big step towards SHAME for everyone!” said one teacher.
Flying in the face of the contemporary wisdom that the purpose of education is to prepare students to join the workforce in hip, uptempo careers where they have more opportunities to consume technology, proponents of SHAME advocate a radical approach to education that seeks to introduce children to a wide survey of human endeavor across many fields during their school years. Supporters of SHAME contend this “well-rounded” education will better prepare them to function as adults in a swiftly-changing society than the popular STEM curriculum so many of our schools have spent the last decade or more converting to.