Dear Friends,
 
The past several days have been a difficult time for your leadership in CMEA and those who have been tuned into the recent events at our national level.  
 
In consultation with the CMEA Executive Board, and under directives from NAfME, we have remained silent for several days to allow the statements officially put out by NAfME to provide some answers.  I realize that many of you want more, and I stand with you in that desire for information.  
 
One person does not make or break any organization.  None of us is that powerful or indispensable.  It is the organization itself, with it's Vision, Mission Statement, values, policies, and procedures that is the ongoing entity.  We exist within an organization as the stewards of those values for only a designated period of time.  And then others follow to fill our places.  In this current issue, CMEA and NAfME will survive and become stronger as we continue to address the issues of Inclusion and Diversity.  
 
We live in a democracy where everyone is innocent until proven guilty by an official source.  Public opinion should never be the ultimate judge, and we need to trust our leadership to do a thorough job in investigating and reporting back to us. 
 
CMEA is a tremendous organization, with a rich history and a bright future.  Out of this adversity will come dialogue and new directions. Diversity and greater inclusion for all students has been in the discussions among your state leaders for quite some time, and when you see the announcement of our new CMEA State Council, later this month, you will notice several new positions that relate directly to our need to reach out and be a much more important entity in the lives of our colleagues and the students they teach.  
 
A greater inclusion of all has been at the core of my wish for CMEA and has been my driving force in pursuing leadership within our organization for the past fourteen years.
 
Thank you for your understanding, your patience, and your professionalism in the recent days.  I look forward to our discussions and future directions within the CMEA family.
 
Sincerely,

Scott Hedgecock
CMEA President
 
 
A Message From The NAfME National Executive Board:
 
Last week, the National Executive Board (NEB) and leadership team were made aware that Michael Butera, CEO of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), made disparaging remarks during a meeting convened by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). His remarks and behavior as reported are in direct contrast with the values, commitment, and mission of our organization. We began a review of this incident immediately upon notification, and the investigation is concluded. Michael has been placed on administrative leave pending final board discussion.

As part of this process, we reached out to participants in last week’s meeting, including Keryl McCord of Alternate ROOTS, to fully understand what happened and assess the situation. During those conversations, our national leadership affirmed NAfME’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts, as well as our desire to foster a meaningful dialogue that leads to an increase of diversity in our field.

As leaders of this organization, we want you to know that we take this matter very seriously. Our promise to you is that the review is timely, comprehensive, professional, and one of integrity and high ethical standards.

We will continue this important dialogue regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts. The National Executive Board has been in intensive meetings, and will follow up tomorrow.
 
 

WHEN: Thursday and Friday, March 17-18
Optional El Sistema Pre-Workshop on Wednesday, March 16

WHERE: San Diego

WHAT: Two-day conference with Thursday night celebration

Registration, Program and Accommodation information will be distributed in coming weeks


DESCRIPTION:
This two-day event will bring national focus to two school districts in San Diego County, where arts education has emerged as a priority to improve student success. San Diego Unified’s Title I arts integration initiative "Learning Through the Arts" is reaching students in twenty-two elementary schools with a coordinated arts integration system. Chula Vista Elementary School District has invested significant resources to hire over 70 credentialed visual and performing arts teachers since June, providing all students instruction in music, theater, dance, visual arts or media arts.

Why is this happening in San Diego? What are the implications for learning and success for all students? What can we learn from their example? The Arts Education Learning Exchange will enable participants to witness school site learning, hear from key leaders and stakeholders within the school districts and local arts organizations who are guiding these efforts, and learn strategies and resources districts can use to embed arts education in student learning.

A ‘celebration’ of student learning and community support WITH CELEBRITIES, ELECTED OFFICIALS, AND STUDENT PERFORMANCES FROM DISTRICTS AROUND THE COUNTY, will be held the evening of March 17 to recognize the role San Diego has taken in leading a national conversation about the critical importance of arts education in student learning. This celebration is provided at no cost by the California Alliance for Arts Education.

In addition to the two-day Learning Exchange, Chula Vista Elementary School District and San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory will offer a half-day workshop that immerses participants in the El Sistema principles and practices used to build community momentum for restoration of arts education across the district. Separate registration will be required.

CMEA Releases LCAP Resource Part 2 

Dear CMEA Member:

Happy New Year!  I hope that you enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating time with family and friends during the Holidays.

It’s time to begin advocacy work at your district level so that your music program can optimally benefit from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Each January, California school districts begin planning process to determine Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) spending priorities for the next school year.  All California school boards must adopt their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP’s) by June 30th.

Last May, CMEA partnered with the other three statewide arts educator associations (4 ArtsEd Orgs) in California, California Art Education Association (CAEA), California Dance Education Association (CDEA), and California Educational Theatre Association (CETA), to create an LCAP Resource to assist our members in engaging with local governing boards to positively impact funding for school arts education via the LCAP.  That part 1 document was entitled:  “Be a Voice with Your Student.”

Now, the 4 ArtsEd Orgs are releasing part 2 of this project, entitled:  “The Second Layer:  Delving Deeper Be A Voice with Your Student” provided to assist members with actively engaging in the Local Control Accountability Planning Process at the district level.

Both LCAP Resources are found at:  http://www.calmusiced.com/ or http://www.standup4music.org/.

These documents will help you align music education goals and priorities in your district with Governor Brown’s Eight Priorities found in the LCAP.  Music educators must get involved in their district’s LCAP advisory meetings so that equal access to music education is provided for students who are socio-economically disadvantaged, English learners, and Foster youth.

I want to thank CMEA Immediate Past President, Russ Sperling, and CMEA Advocacy Representative, Steve Venz, for serving on this task force.  Also, kudos to Kristine Alexander, Executive Director of The California Arts Project, for helping to coordinate this project.

CMEA is pleased to support its members through this collaboration with CAEA, CDEA, and CETA!

Sincerely,

Michael D. Stone
President
California Music Educators Association

LCAP Resource #1

LCAP Resource #2

AB 2862 (O’Donnell)

As you know, our legislative bill SB 725, for updating our VAPA Standards, was gutted in August to make way for a legislative vehicle to “fix” the high school exit exam situation. After serious discussion, the CMEA leadership in concert with the leadership of the other organizations within the 4ArtsEdOrgs Coalition decided to not return with a bill this year, but rather to focus on informing our members and school districts how they can adopt or endorse the National Core Arts Standards. This work is still ongoing and will continue.

Last week, the legislative office of Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, and also a former teacher, approached CMEA asking us if we would like to have a VAPA Standards Update bill brought back. After some fast phone meetings among all immediate stakeholders the answer was in the affirmative. AB 2862 picks up where SB 725 left off.

AB 2862 will be legislation that requires California to update and revise the Visual and Performing Arts standards for students in Grades Pre-K-12. The last adoption of course standards for the Visual and Performing Arts was fifteen years ago in 2001. In the interim, the base curriculum has changed, technology has evolved, and the visual and performing arts have transformed. California’s students should not wait any longer for the Visual and Performing Arts curriculum to be updated.

Music is a Core Subject, as stated in the recent federal revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Every Student Succeeds Act has replaced No Child Left Behind, and ESSA calls for a “Well Rounded Education” and specifically names Music as a Core Subject. The landscape has changed, but there is currently no mechanism in state law to update and review California’s standards. New law must be passed in order for the standards to be modified. AB 2862 will remedy the problem by calling on the State Board of Education to adopt new standards no later than January 1, 2019.

We will soon be putting out our own series of CTA’s (a CTA is a call-to-action) asking you to contact your legislators to support AB2862. If you know that your legislator is on the Assembly Education Committee (check http://aedn.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff) please contact them immediately and ask them to support AB 2862 in the Assembly Education Committee Hearing on April 20, 2016. Further CTA’s will be forthcoming.

These are exciting times for Arts Education in California and in our country.

Sincerely,

Scott Hedgecock
CMEA President