For a look at how America treats music education in urban school, you need go no further than LAUSD's Linda Mouradian, a traveling music teacher, budget cuts, and waiting lists. Her music room is a fits has to fit in the trunk of her car:
Then Mouradian piles it all into the trunk of her car, where she keeps a cart filled with sheet music and other supplies.
Mouradian is a traveling instrumental music teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District. She juggles her work schedule between four different elementary schools.
"You need to have every single thing," she said. "You can't rely on anything being there for you."
Music is not an NCLB, or RTTT priority. It does not fit neatly into their god of all measures those little bubble sheet tests. Today's modern education reformers have money for new standards, new testing, and now money for expensive data tracking systems to follow our children from kindergarten to college. In 2009 The United States Department of Education allocated 53.6 billion for education reform. Their reforms led to more testing, the Common Core, larger class sizes, fewer teachers, and less art and music for poor and working class children.
Perhaps the workforce of the twenty-first century does not need art and music? Perhaps all they'll need do is learn to fill in bubble sheets, press the right buttons, and do what they are told. Perhaps like Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Light Brigade" the workforce of the twenty-first century is: "Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do & die." “Someone had blundered.”..“not to make reply...not to reason why,” ..so they followed orders and rode into the “valley of death.”
Surely these Education Deformers had blunder'd. They love music and the arts. They must be advocates for the them. Or perhaps music and the arts are for their children, and for our children....well we get the Common Core.
At Lakeside has an art department, (image from Lakeside webpage).
"Course Offerings by Department
When our second president John Q. Adams said: “I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.” I doubt he meant some children get some painting, poetry and music, and others get it all. My thinking is President Adams could not fathom 53.6 Billion for schools without music and art at the center of learning.
The government missed the boat, but what of our nation's philanthropists? Well, most missed that boat as well. Of course Bill and Melissa Gates could have used their billions to fund music and arts education in our nation's public schools, but the Common Core, Cameras in classrooms, online teacher evaluation systems called Bill not music or the arts.
Our nation's poor will be prepared to become little worker bees for the twenty-first century. The bosses will get their sweat, blood, and pain. Music and arts well a few drive-bys won't stop them from their ride into the valley of death.
God bless you Linda Mouradian, and all of America's traveling music and art teachers. You are our saints, our working class heroes that keep the music alive, and put the color into our souls.
Love, love, love you all,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner