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ESEA Reauthorization

ESEA Reauthorization is Finalized as Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
On Thursday, December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the legislation (S.1177 Every Child Achieves Act of 2015) to reauthorization the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The new ESEA reauthorization, which will be known as "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA), reauthorizes and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). This reauthorization addresses issues such as accountability and testing requirements, distribution and requirements for grants fiscal accountability requirements, and the evaluation of teachers. It focuses on reducing federal oversight of education and increasing state flexibility in the use of funds. It will take some time to determine the impact of this approach on state and local policy as well as accountability and reporting measures.

The President’s signature follows votes in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 2 (359 to 64 with 10 members not voting) and the Senate on Wednesday, December 9 (85 to 12 with 3 members not voting: Cruz, Sanders, Rubio).  

According to the Congressional summary of the legislation:
• The bill provides states with increased flexibility and responsibility for developing accountability systems, deciding how federally required tests should be weighed, selecting additional measures of student and school performance, and implementing teacher evaluation systems.
• It includes grants for providing language instruction educational programs, improving low-performing schools, and developing programs for American Indian and Alaska Native students. The bill provides rural school districts with increased flexibility in using federal funding. It also revises the Impact Aid formula.
• The bill requires school districts to consult stakeholders in planning and implementing programs to improve student safety, health, well-being, and academic achievement.
• It combines two existing charter school programs into one program that includes grants for high-quality charter schools, facilities financing assistance, and replication and expansion.
• The bill provides states with flexibility in meeting maintenance of effort requirements for state and local education funding to supplement federal assistance.
• The bill prohibits the Department of Education from imposing certain requirements on states or school districts seeking waivers from federal laws.
• It provides that ESEA dollars may be used to improve early childhood education programs and specifies requirements to ensure that homeless youth have access to all services provided by the states and school districts.

The following key points highlight the opportunities for arts education within the legislation. For further details go to NAEA website.
• The arts and music are included in a definition of a "well-rounded education" - a term that has replaced the current definition of "core academic subjects," which had included the "arts."
• The subjects listed in the definition of a well-rounded education - including arts and music education - appear to be specified as eligible uses of Title I funds.  Title I funds are the largest pool of federal resources dedicated to ensuring equitable access to a complete education for all students.
• The programs supported by the current Arts in Education fund are retained as a newly named "Assistance for Arts Education" fund. 
• Arts and music education are specified as eligible uses for new, state-administered "Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants"  including support for the arts in STEM education.
• 21st Century Community Learning Center funding is maintained, and arts and music education are specified as eligible for support under "expanded learning time" provisions. 

It is important to note that this federal legislation, even when adopted, is not a state or local mandate. Once a conference committee is convened to finalize one Congressional bill, should ESEA be signed into law by the President, it is clear that local efforts to determine access to the arts will be required.

NAEA works collaboratively with all of the arts education professional associations and national arts associations engaged with monitoring arts and education policy and federal appropriations for arts education. The items cited in the list above center NAEA policy objectives around the Arts Advocacy Day arts education issues briefs, which serve as NAEA's underlying policy documents regarding reauthorization and represent the consensus policy objectives of over 85 national organizations, including NAEA.

There is much to be figured out as the nation moves to implement the new law, but the White House and the Department have released a number of materials to help educate the public about the ESSA, including:
• a White House report on progress made in elementary and secondary education and how ESSA will cement that progress;
• Secretary Duncan’s blog post, “Finally a Fix to No Child Left Behind;”
• Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz’s blog post, “What You Need to Know About the Fix to No Child Left Behind” (with a side-by-side comparison of NCLB, ESEA flexibility, and ESSA);
excerpts from the Secretary’s prepared remarks at the Learning Forward conference; and
• a Dear Colleague letter from both Secretary Duncan and incoming Acting Secretary King on ESSA.

Many of these materials are posted on the Department’s ESEA web page and additional materials will be posted as they become available. In the meantime, questions may be directed to ESSA.questions@ed.gov.

In ESSA, Arts Are Part of 'Well-Rounded Education'. Arts education advocates breathed a sigh of relief last Thursday when the Every Student Succeeds Act, which includes language that cements states' obligation to support arts education programs in public schools, became the new federal education law of the land. Several proposals for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act floated earlier this year did not specifically call for funding the creative disciplines. But the Every Student Succeeds Act includes the arts alongside math and language arts in its definition of a "well-rounded education." (Education Week/Curriculum Matters, 12/15/15) 

Update: On Wednesday, December 2, the House almost as overwhelmingly approved the Every Student Succeeds Act, 359 to 64.
Senate action expected soon.

ESEA Reauthorization Update – Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (December 2, 2015)
NAEA has been carefully monitoring the status of activities in the U.S. Congress relative to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Before the summer recess, each chamber voted its version of ESEA Reauthorization. As both houses of Congress voted favorably for both bills, a conference committee convened this fall to finalize one bill to move forward for the President to sign. The leaders of the education committees from the House and Senate (Congressmen John Kline R-MN and Bobby Scott D-VA; Senators Lamar Alexander R-TN and Patty Murray D-WA) determined that Congressman John Kline would chair the conference committee.

On Monday, November 30, 2015, the draft of the final legislation was released. The House of Representatives may vote on the legislation as early as later this week.

The new ESEA reauthorization, entitled “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA), focuses on reducing federal oversight of education and increasing state flexibility in the use of funds. It will take some time to determine the impact of this approach on state and local policy as well as accountability and reporting measures.

•  Accountability requirements are more flexible. While tests in reading and math are still required under the new bill, states are given flexibility in incorporating other measures of student success into their accountability plans - such as student engagement - and are encouraged to use portfolio and project based-assessment when measuring student learning, which may open the door to increased support of arts education strategies.

The following key points highlight the opportunities for arts education within the legislation.

•  The arts and music are included in a definition of a "well-rounded education" - a term that has replaced the current definition of "core academic subjects," which had included the “arts.” (In this context, the arts include the visual arts, dance, and theater.) The well-rounded education definition broadens the list of subjects and appears in provisions related to afterschool and expanded learning time, English language learners, literacy, and more.  This means that advocates can encourage local and state education policymakers to use their federal funds in these areas to support arts and music education.

"WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION.-The term 'well-rounded education' means courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.''

•  The subjects listed in the definition of a well-rounded education - including arts and music education – appear to be specified as eligible uses of Title I funds. Title I funds are the largest pool of federal resources dedicated to ensuring equitable access to a complete education for all students. 

 The programs supported by the current Arts in Education fund are retained as a newly named "Assistance for Arts Education" fund. This is a significant win as many other small programs of this kind were eliminated in the new bill. The Arts Education fund includes national competitive grants to support partnerships among schools and community-based organizations.

•  Arts and music education are specified as eligible uses for new, state-administered "Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants"  including support for the arts in STEM education. Local education agencies will apply to states for the funds and are asked to consult with community-based organizations and other public stakeholders when preparing their applications. Integrating the arts into STEM learning programs is also a specified area of eligibility for the new grants.

21st Century Community Learning Center funding is maintained, and arts and music education are specified as eligible for support under "expanded learning time" provisions.  Afterschool, out of school, and summer learning programs are key areas in which arts organizations partner with schools to support student learning in the arts.

Implementation timing, as reported by Education Week:
•  The bill outlines the transition plan from the Obama administration's ESEA waivers to this bold new era of accountability. Waivers would appear be null and void on August 1, 2016, but states would still have to continue supporting their lowest-performing schools (a.k.a. what the waivers call "priority schools") and schools with big achievement gaps (a.k.a. "focus schools") until their new ESSA plans kicked in.

•  So it seems that 2016-17 will be the big transition year. It will be partially under the Obama administration, and partially under the new administration.

•  In general, ESSA would apply to any federal grants given out after Oct. 1, 2016, so most grants would still be under the NCLB version of the law for the rest of this school year.

It is important to note that this federal legislation, even when adopted, is not a state or local mandate. Once a conference committee is convened to finalize one Congressional bill, should ESEA be signed into law by the President, it is clear that local efforts to determine access to the arts will be required.

NAEA works collaboratively with all of the arts education professional associations and national arts associations engaged with monitoring arts and education policy and federal appropriations for arts education. The items cited in the list above center NAEA policy objectives around the Arts Advocacy Day arts education issues briefs, which serve as NAEA's underlying policy documents regarding reauthorization and represent the consensus policy objectives of over 85 national organizations, including NAEA.

Huge Arts Education Win in Congress Today (November 19, 2015)
For arts education proponents, Thanksgiving came early this year. In the midst of the biggest shakeup of federal education law in over a decade, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) successfully added an amendment today to the rewrite of the nation’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation that will integrate the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math).

This is of particular significance because her amendment was unanimously adopted by voice vote by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee during today’s mark-up of the final ESEA bill. The bill next goes to the House and Senate for final (and likely) passage in early December before landing on the President’s desk.

The amendment specifically citing the arts states: “integrating other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM programs to increase participation in STEM, improve attainment of STEM-related skills, and promote well-rounded education;”

After many years of anticipation, this bipartisan legislation will set new K-12 education policies impacting the nation’s 100,000 schools across the country. (Arts Action Fund, 11/19/15)

Arts Education Community Launches Petition for Individuals to Support ESEA Provisions
A petition for individuals to support arts-friendly provisions within the two versions of ESEA passed this summer by the Senate and House has been launched by Americans for the Arts. As the conference committee will begin to review the two versions of the bill to finalize a compromise, it is important that the voice of arts education be heard.  While the chairs of the committee have been identified, the committee members have not yet been appointed. Once they are appointed, they will receive the petition through Americans for the Arts. Refer to the FAQ one-pager that further outlines their policies regarding advocates taking action through this system. For more information about the current status of ESEA, refer to the NAEA email blast from September 15 below.

Senate and House Pass ESEA Reauthorization - Next Steps (September 15, 2015) 
NAEA has been carefully monitoring the status of activities in the US Congress relative to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Before the summer recess, each chamber voted its version of ESEA Reauthorization. Now that both houses of Congress have voted favorably for both bills a conference committee is convened to iron out the differences and result in one bill to move forward for the President to sign.
 
Before the recess, the leaders of the education committees from the House and Senate (Congressmen John Kline R-MN and Bobby Scott D-VA; Senators Lamar Alexander R-TN and Patty Murray D-WA) met and determined that Congressman John Kline would chair the conference committee to finalize the legislation for the President to sign.

The timeline for next steps, including appointing and convening the conference committee to determine the final bill, will not be determined until after Congress reconvenes after Labor Day from its summer recess.  In anticipation of action by a conference committee this fall, the arts education community developed a sign-on letter which organizations, including NAEA, are signing to remind members of Congress of the important points in the two drafts of legislation which are most important for furthering arts education for all students.

Status of Senate Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The Senate voted to pass S.1777 "Every Child Achieves Act" on Thursday, July 16 by a vote of 81-17.
 
Status of House Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The House voted to pass HR5 "Student Success Act" on Wednesday, July 8 by a vote of 218-215. This bill is significantly different than the Senate's "Every child Achieves Act."

It is important to note that this federal legislation, even when/if adopted, is not a state or local mandate. Once a conference committee is convened to finalize one Congressional bill, should ESEA be signed into law by the President, it is clear that local efforts to determine access to the arts will be required.
 
NAEA works collaboratively with all of the arts education professional associations and national arts associations engaged with monitoring arts and education policy and federal appropriations for arts education. The items cited in the list above center NAEA policy objectives around the Arts Advocacy Day arts education issues briefs (see bottom of page), which serve as NAEA's underlying policy documents regarding reauthorization and represent the consensus policy objectives of over 85 national organizations, including NAEA.

Senate and House Pass ESEA Reauthorization Bills (July 16, 2015)
NAEA has been carefully monitoring the status of activities in the US Congress relative to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Each chamber has now voted its version of ESEA Reauthorization. Now that both houses of Congress have voted favorably for both bills a conference committee is convened to iron out the differences and result in one bill to move forward for the President to sign.

Status of Senate Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The Senate voted to pass S.1777 "Every Child Achieves Act" on Thursday, July 16 by a vote of 81-17.
 
Status of House Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The House voted to pass HR5 "Student Success Act" on Wednesday, July 8 by a vote of 218-215. This bill is significantly different than the Senate's "Every child Achieves Act."

It is important to note that this federal legislation, even when/if adopted, is not a state or local mandate. Once a conference committee is convened to finalize one Congressional bill, should ESEA be signed into law by the President, it is clear that local efforts to determine access to the arts will be required.
 
NAEA works collaboratively with all of the arts education professional associations and national arts associations engaged with monitoring arts and education policy and federal appropriations for arts education. The items cited in the list above center NAEA policy objectives around the
Arts Advocacy Day arts education issues briefs, which serve as NAEA's underlying policy documents regarding reauthorization and represent the consensus policy objectives of over 85 national organizations, including NAEA.

Legislative Update | Congress Moves Forward on ESEA Reauthorization: Senate and House Schedule Floor Debates on ESEA Week of July 6, 2015
NAEA has been carefully monitoring the status of activities in the US Congress relative to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
What follows is an update regarding the status of the draft legislation from the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each chamber has now voted a version of ESEA Reauthorization out of committee for consideration by the full Senate and House of Representatives.
 
Status of Senate Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The Senate will begin discussion of S.1777 “Every Child Achieves Act” on Tuesday, July 7. The discussion may include additional floor amendments to the bill. The discussion may continue through the week (Friday, July 10) and/or continue through the following week. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) are offering an amendment regarding options which states might consider relative to data collection. One of the key indicators relating to all core subjects provides an opportunity for gathering data regarding access to core subjects. This offers the possibility of data being gathered regarding access to the arts, among other core subjects, and reflects the data collection that arts education advocates have been looking for – with the realization that this is one of the options states would have if this amendment should be adopted.
 
Status of House Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The House will begin discussion of HR5 "Student Success Act", its proposed version of ESEA Reauthorization as early as Tuesday, July 7 or Wednesday, July 8. This bill is significantly different than the Senate's "Every child Achieves Act."
 
Once both houses of Congress have voted favorably for both bills a conference committee is convened to iron out the differences and result in one bill to move forward for the President to sign.
It is important to note that this list within federal legislation, even when/if adopted, is not a state or local mandate. Determination of core subjects at the state and local levels are up to those jurisdictions.
Should ESEA be reauthorized, it is clear that local efforts to determine access to the arts will be required. 
 
It is not too late to contact your elected representatives to encourage their support for inclusion of arts education in any education reform bill:
1. Retain the arts in the 'core academic subject' definition.
2. Retain the federal Arts in Education program, which has supported over 200 model grant programs over the last decade.
3. Requiring states to be transparent and report annually on student access to arts education.
 
All members of Congress will be voting on the ESEA Reauthorization legislation. For a list of the committee members from each chamber, go to the Senate HELP Committee website at
http://www.help.senate.gov/ and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce at http://edworkforce.house.gov/. To view schedule information for each house of Congress, go to: House and Senate.

NAEA works collaboratively with all of the arts education professional associations and national arts associations engaged with monitoring arts and education policy and federal appropriations for arts education. The items cited in the list above center NAEA policy objectives around the
Arts Advocacy Day arts education issues briefs
, which serve as NAEA's underlying policy documents regarding reauthorization and represent the consensus policy objectives of over 85 national organizations, including NAEA.

Senate HELP Committee Moves Senate Every Child Achieves Act Forward (April 17, 2015)
NAEA has been carefully monitoring the status of activities in the US Congress relative to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). What follows is an update regarding the status of the draft legislation from the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each chamber has now voted a version of ESEA Reauthorization out of committee for consideration by the full Senate and House of Representatives.  

Status of Senate Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
The Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ) Committee met over the course of three days this week to complete its markup of the Senate HELP Committee’s new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) entitled “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.” Led by committee chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking democratic committee member Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the HELP Committee unanimously passed the bi-partisan rewrite of ESEA legislation out of committee. The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 will now move to the Senate floor for consideration, debate, and potentially a full vote by the Senate. Floor consideration is expected to take several weeks, and is tentatively scheduled for mid-May.  

The discussion at the hearings focused on changes, called amendments, which individual Senators serving on the HELP Committee wanted to see in the markup. In general, as the Committee met for over ten hours to discuss dozens of proposed amendments, the concerns were primarily in these areas: Use of Title 1 funds, testing, special needs students, helping students in high poverty areas, the burden of data collection on the states, and state level authority for making decisions in education vs. the federal role.  

There was no discussion of the core subjects during these hearings or reinstating specific discretionary grant programs of the U.S. Department of Education which have been recommended for elimination as part of the markup, including elimination of the Arts in Education grant programs and other programs, including the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. Recordings of the hearings from April 14, 15, 16 are available on the Senate HELP Committee website at www.help.senate.gov.

Within this new version of ESEA, the list of core subjects has been retained. Being a core subject legally provides the opportunity for grant applicants to include the arts in all funding programs. There have been additions to the list. The wording in this version is as follows:

CORE ACADEMIC SUBJECTS.—The term ‘core academic subjects’ means English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, and physical education, and any other subject as determined by the State or local educational agency."

It is important to note that this list within federal legislation, even when/if adopted, is not a state or local mandate. Determination of core subjects at the state and local levels are up to those jurisdictions.

Status of House Action on ESEA Reauthorization:
On February 11, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Congressman John Kline (R-MN) passed HR5 “Student Success Act”, its proposed version of ESEA Reauthorization. The full House has not taken action on the bill. This bill is significantly different than the Senate’s “Every child Achieves Act.”  

Once both houses of Congress have voted favorably for both bills a conference committee is convened to iron out the differences and result in one bill to move forward for the President to sign.

It is not too late to contact your elected representatives to encourage their support for inclusion of arts education in any education reform bill:

1. Retain the arts in the 'core academic subject' definition.
2. Retain arts education as an eligible use of Title I funds - the largest portion of federal assistance for disadvantaged students.
3. Include specific new language to include arts educators as eligible for Title II professional development support.
4. Include arts education as a priority in any proposed local competitive grant program.
5. Retain the federal Arts in Education program, which has supported over 200 model grant programs over the last decade. 6. Retain the 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school program, which supports arts education.

All members of Congress will be voting on the ESEA Reauthorization legislation. For a list of the committee members from each chamber, go to the Senate HELP Committee website at www.help.senate.gov and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce at edworkforce.house.gov
.  

NAEA works collaboratively with all of the arts education professional associations and national arts associations engaged with monitoring arts and education policy and federal appropriations for arts education. The items cited in the list above center NAEA policy objectives around the Arts Advocacy Day arts education issues briefs including ESEA Issues Brief (see bottom of page), which serve as NAEA’s underlying policy documents regarding reauthorization and represent the consensus policy objectives of over 85 national organizations, including NAEA.

House Vote On ESEA Postponed To This Week -- Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Due to the Congressional activity focus on the Homeland Security Administration budget, the House of Representatives postponed their vote on ESEA scheduled for Friday, February 27. Here is a link to an article explaining the status of House action at this time. On the Senate side, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) are working closely to draft a bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill. Chairman Alexander recently announced plans to mark up the bill in the Committee sometime in March. (National Law Review, 3/2/15). Also note ESEA Issues Brief and Recommendations prepared for Arts Advocacy Day

House to Vote on Proposed Changes to ESEA on Friday, February 27. The following Arts Action Alert has been issued today relative to proposed changes to ESEA, and an anticipated vote by the House of Representatives now scheduled for tomorrow, February, 2015. The Senate is expected to begin its work on ESEA in March and vote the end of March or early April 2015.

-26-15

House to Vote on Proposed Changes to ESEA on Friday, February 27.
The following Arts Action Alert has been issued today relative to proposed changes to ESEA, and an anticipated vote by the House of Representatives now scheduled for tomorrow, February, 2015. The Senate is expected to begin its work on ESEA in March and vote the end of March or early April 2015.

- See more at: http://www.arteducators.org/news/news#sthash.nFIbUauv.dpuf

Legislative Update: New Congress Begins to Move Forward on ESEA Reauthorization - NAEA Collaborates on Creating Arts Education Sector Strategies (updated January 30, 2015). As the new Congress begins its work after the first of the year, NAEA has been meeting weekly with colleagues from national arts and arts education associations to create strategies for arts education advocates to communicate with elected officials about the reauthorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). The first real action in some time regarding reauthorization came on January 21 when Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the new chairman of the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ) Committee issued his personal markup of the current legislation.  Subsequently, Alexander convened two hearings on January 20 and 27 to hear invited testimony about testing from education researchers and the impact of the legislation from school administrators.  A date for the pubic to provide feedback was set with a quick turnaround of February 2.
 
With the changes in Congress following the November elections the leadership and members of Congressional committees have changed, so new leadership comes into the legislative process.
 
There are significant impacts for arts education in Senator Alexander’s markup. The following link provides details: http://blog.artsusa.org/2015/01/22/the-return-of-elementary-and-secondary-education-act-esea-reauthorization

The most significant impacts for arts education are:
1) Deletes the definition of "core academic subjects," which includes the arts! (Being a core subject legally provides the opportunity for grant applicants to include the arts in all funding programs, including the use of Title I funds for arts education, as one example);
2) Terminates the $1 billion 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school program, which supports arts education;
3) Terminates the small, but mighty, federal Arts In Education program which has supported over 200 model grant programs for over a decade;
4) Omits indicators of student access to the arts as part of annual state reporting (example is New Jersey's report) that help identify the equity gap.
 
NAEA is part of the leadership team currently writing the annual Congressional Issues Briefs on ESEA Reauthorization and Arts in Education Funding Through the U.S. Department of Education. These briefs will be finalized within the next week. However, this is a very fluid situation and new information or developments in reauthorization may come to light at any time over the months ahead. The issues briefs will be posted on the NAEA website once they are made public.
 
If you are planning to come to Washington, DC for Arts Advocacy Day (March 23 and 24, 2015), please let NAEA know.  NAEA is a co-sponsor of Arts Advocacy Day.

Sign On to the National Arts Education Advocacy Statement, Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School, Work, and Life. The Arts Education Working Group, a coalition of national arts and arts education advocacy organizations including the National Art Education Association (NAEA), invites state and local organizations to join the movement to keep the arts in public schools by signing-on to a statement in support of arts education: Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School, Work, and Life.
 
This statement communicates the benefits of arts education to policymakers at all levels.  As federal lawmakers engage in the process of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind), there may be uses for the document in ongoing work at the local and state levels.

The strong connection between federal law and what students actually learn while they are in school necessitates a coordinated action.  The messages outlined in Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School Work and Life communicate the benefits of arts education not only to senators and members of congress, but also to school board members, superintendents, and principals. This statement provides talking points for individuals and organizations that want to make change in Washington and at home. Advocates are encouraged to use the statement when talking with local education decision-makers, share it with friends and parents, and post this link to their Facebook page. You can find the Unified Statement on this page here.

This 2013 paper is an update of the 2007 unified statement, which was endorsed by more than 60 national organizations, representing a cross-section of stakeholders in federal education policy, including teachers, parents, administrators, schools, education policymakers, corporations, artists, and arts and community based institutions. The statement has been refreshed to reflect new research and policy.

If you would like to add your state or local organization's name to those already supporting Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School, Work, and Life, please e-mail Najean Lee, League of American Orchestras, nlee@americanorchestras.org.


National Associations Collaborate on Resources for Understanding and Promoting the Arts in ESEA Reauthorization and Appropriations Efforts. NAEA is an active and ongoing collaborator in working with all of the other national arts and arts education associations engaged in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, referred to in the most recent legislation as No Child Left Behind).

Through participation in the Arts Education Legislative Working Group, NAEA has partnered with Americans for the Arts, the League of American Orchestras, MENC, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), Arts Education Partnership, Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), National Dance Education Organization (NDEO),  National Dance Association, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), as well as the American Association of Museums, Dance/USA, the Kennedy Center, NAMM, OPERA America, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), VH1 Save The Music Foundation, and VSA to monitor national developments in the reauthorization (legislative) and appropriations (funding) processes.

The Arts Education Legislative Working Group enables all of the cultural associations to work together to strategize the best approaches for advocating for arts education and positioning opportunities for furthering a collective agenda for the arts throughout federal legislation. This work includes monitoring the reauthorization of ESEA as well as the appropriation levels for arts education in both U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts.  This also includes exploring other opportunities for the arts and arts education throughout federal agencies, with National Assessment Governing Board (oversight for the NAEP assessment) and the Corporation for National and Community Services as examples. This group also put together the NAEP Toolkit in conjunction with last year’s release of the 2008 NAEP Assessment findings.

The working group members have collaborated on developing and finalizing useful documents for understanding the status of reauthorization and appropriations. The most recent documents are provided below.

•    Arts in Education Appropriations Briefing Paper for Arts Advocacy Day 2013
•    ESEA Reauthorization Briefing Paper for Arts Advocacy Day 2013


ESEA Flexibility Brochure and Fact Sheets - February 2013. Available on the U. S. Department of Education’s website are a set of materials that provide a substantive overview of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility process—also known as ESEA waivers—by which 34 states and the District of Columbia have applied for and received flexibility regarding certain provisions of ESEA. The intent of these materials—a brochure and five companion fact sheets—is to explain the rationale and intent of ESEA flexibility, as well as address its key components and highlight plan elements for a number of states approved for flexibility. All of the documents can be easily printed and produced as front-to-back copies; the fact sheets are two-pagers, and the brochure is a tri-fold.
 
The brochure and fact sheets can be found on the Department’s updated ESEA flexibility web page.  Individual links to the documents are below:
"The Opportunity of ESEA Flexibility” (brochure)
“Protecting School and Student Accountability” (fact sheet)
“Advancing Accountability and Graduation Rates” (fact sheet)
“Continuing to Expose and Close Achievement Gaps” (fact sheet)
“Turning Around the Lowest-Performing Schools” (fact sheet)
“Supporting Teachers, Leaders, and Local Innovation” (fact sheet)

ESEA FLEXIBILITY - July 2012. Secretary Duncan recently announced that Washington and Wisconsin will receive flexibility from the burdensome mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  In exchange for this new flexibility, the states have agreed to raise academic standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to boost teacher effectiveness.  This announcement brings the number of states with waivers to 26.  Eleven other applications are still under review.  Fourteen states have not yet requested a waiver through this process, but the Department expects more states to request Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility this fall. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-approves-two-more-states-nclb-flexibility-more-half-country. Meanwhile, the Department announced that seven states -- Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, and West Virginia -- may freeze their Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for the coming school year, while they work on their waiver requests.  These states may use the same AMOs to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) determinations based on assessments administered during the 2011-12 school year that they used to make such determinations based on assessments administered during the prior school year.  Approval is based on the determination that this waiver is likely to increase the quality of instruction for students and improve the academic achievement of students by enabling states, school districts, and schools to devote resources to planning for the implementation of ESEA flexibility rather than devoting resources to respond to the growing numbers of schools and districts that would be identified for improvement as a consequence of escalating AMOs required by current law. In the interest of transparency and to help inform other states, the Department has posted at http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility/requests information on where states stand in the waiver process.

Department of Education Art Education Grant Programs (ED.gov)

Obama Administration Approves Seven More NCLB Flexibility Requests - 32 States and DC Now Approved for Waivers (ED.gov)

Ten Years of Arts Integration (ED.gov)

Arts Education video from the U.S. Department of Education (released 7/12/12)

Ten Years of Unleashing Creative Minds (ED.gov blog)

Obama Administration Approves Two More States For NCLB Flexibility – More Than Half of the Country Now Approved for Waivers, More to Follow (ED.gov)

Saluting Presidential Scholars: Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (ED.gov)

Obama Administration Approves Eight More States for NCLB Waivers (ED.gov)

Approved: Eight More States Get NCLB Waivers (ED.gov)

Coalition seeks more state autonomy in rewritten ESEA (The Hill/The Floor Action blog, 5/3)

Starting From Scratch With ESEA

'Secret Meeting' in South Carolina Held to Quash ESEA Waiver (April 20, 2012, Politics K-12 Blog)

The never-ending story of ESEA reauthorization (ASCD, Spring 2012)


Consensus Statement and Policy Recommendations for a Well-Rounded Education (released July 29, 2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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