Parents of Fine Arts Students,
Please let me thank you for partnering with APA to provide your child with the best possible educational experience we can provide. It has been a privilege to serve here at APA for the past 6 years. I don’t typically send out posts of this nature but I believe that this is probably one of the most important decisions that our State Board of Education is getting ready to make and it will potentially affect each child enrolled in the fine arts; not just at APA but at every public school in our state.
It has been brought to my attention that the rumors that I heard over the summer are actually now being proposed in regards to your child’s high school diploma requirements. This proposal affects the amount and flexibility of your child’s curricular involvement in the arts. Below is the text of an email that I received from our executive board of the Indiana Music Educators Association. After you have taken the time to read it, please consider what your appropriate action to take would be and act as you deem necessary. Please also pass this on to anyone that you know that may help in blocking this proposal so that every child can have the benefits and rewards of a well-rounded education that includes the wonderful experiences that a quality fine arts program can bring.
The Executive Committee of the Indiana State School Music Association shares in the concerns about the proposed changes to the Graduation Requirements, and encourages all directors to read the IMEA alert and take immediate action by contacting members of the State Board of Education.
Action Alert: High School Diploma Proposal potentially hinders Fine Arts participation. Contact members of the Indiana State Board of Education today.
The Indiana Music Education Association voices serious concerns about the new Diploma proposal being examined by the State Board of Education. The new College and Career Ready Diploma (which replaces the Core 40 and Honors Diploma) requirements will limit student access to the arts and will be a detriment to their educational progress.
1) All High School students should experience a well-rounded education that includes music and arts. Fine Arts should not be accessible only to those students who think their career path will involve music or art. Research on music education consistently shows a correlation to higher academic and personal achievement for students, regardless of socioeconomic background. If the State Board of Education is truly concerned about College & Career ready — there should be a greater mandate for fine arts in the diploma requirements, not a lesser one.
2) The proposal under current consideration makes Fine Arts less accessible to all students. The Fine Arts ‘option’ is no longer a requirement under this proposal, and is the least attainable concentration for the new Honors Diploma, being tied in with 6 credit hours of world language, leaving only one credit for the arts. Further, the other tracks for an Honors Diploma contain base requirements that most students will take anyway to get into college. These guidelines do not encourage students to participate in fine arts — in fact, it dissuades them from participating due to the limited way music and arts may be taken.
3) The new diploma requirements should focus on providing ways for students to gain necessary 21st century skills such as grit, creativity and improved cognition. These skills and more are gained through regular participation in a high-quality music education program.
4) The current diploma proposal is overly prescriptive and does not provide options for local control or student choice when developing a diploma path that will best suit them. Proposed requirements like World History, Geography and Personal Finance should be viewed as electives that give students and parents the flexibility to decide what is best for them.
Our ask: The Indiana Music Education Association asks the State Board of Education to make 2 credit hours of fine arts classes a specific requirement in the College and Career ready diploma being considered. Additionally, we ask that the new Diploma requirements provide a measure of flexibility so that students and their parents can make educated decisions about what classes they take beyond the ‘core’, giving them the flexibility to participate in music and fine arts for all 4 years of their High School Careers, if they actively choose to. This ensures all Indiana Learners gain a well-rounded education that helps them gain the necessary 21st century skills that businesses want from the workforce of the future.
See the current proposed diploma outline here.
Using the talking points above, make contact and encourage others to make contact with the Indiana State Board of Education.
Dr. Vince Bertram: email@example.com
Dr. Byron Ernest: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. David Freitas: email@example.com
Gordon Hendry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Ann Kwiatkowski: email@example.com
Eddie Melton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah O’Brien: email@example.com
Superintendent Ritz: firstname.lastname@example.org
B.J. Watts: email@example.com
Cari Whicker: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steve Yager: email@example.com
Click here to view the State Board of Education Members
Thank you for supporting all of our fine art faculty members and students. We take great pride in what we do here at APA and we want to be able to continue to bring the best of what we can offer to our community that we humbly serve.
Mister Brian Long
Director of Creative & Performing Arts
Anderson Preparatory Academy
firstname.lastname@example.org – email
765-649-8472 ext. 3114 – office phone