Joanne Tubbs, Government Relations
Greetings Iowa Music Educators,
Many of us have heard the term “Model Core Curriculum”, but are we familiar with the implications of the newly passed legislation? The adopted Model Core Curriculum will serve as just that, a “model” for schools to increase academic rigor in literacy, math, science, and 21st Century Skills. Although school districts are not currently required to adhere to the policies it puts forth, most are putting the wheels in motion to be in compliance.
What does the Model Core Curriculum mean for music educators? Anytime school districts are required to focus specific subjects without additional funding to do so, it generally means a reprioritization of resources. School districts will be making funding, personnel, facility, and other decisions based on compliancy with the Model Core. Although not yet required, there are already tests tied to this curriculum. There is a majority in the state legislature that would like to see these tests tied to school funding and teacher salaries. Basically, this would mean the intensity and stress of NCLB times 20, as 95% of individual school funding in Iowa comes from the state!
How can we make the Model Core Curriculum work for us? Consider becoming a member of your local NEA chapter. The ISEA (Iowa chapter) has worked hard to create language that opposes tests tied to the model core. Also, although we are not mentioned specifically as a core subject, we can embed ourselves in the 21st Century Skills requirement. The following sites are helpful when compiling advocacy literature:
I also recommend knowing who your state congress people are. They can be found at:
Lastly, check out MENC’s legislative page for current national news, including a report on how NCLB has affected arts education.