No Child Left Behind in Music
Mentor:Michael Lee, Director of Music Technology, Azusa Pacific University
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) has had negative and unforeseen side effects on elementary music programs. The bill’s mandates for proficiency, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and standardized testing have changed the face of education. Through analysis of pre-existing studies and a collation of local data, this paper identifies three major areas in which NCLB has changed music education: its view, value, and funding. NCLB states that the core academic subjects include foreign language, government, economics, the arts, history, geography, language arts, mathematics, and science. Yet, only language arts, mathematics, and science are subject to standardized testing so districts have an incentive to teach these subjects. NCLB’s emphasis on standardized testing and AYP has lead to a decrease in the amount of time allotted for and emphasis placed on music programs. Lastly, the mandates set forth by NCLB have led to a major reallocation of funds in schools, with the goal being to provide students with increased opportunities to raise test scores and reach proficiency. This paper shows evidence that these changes are widespread across multiple programs and has impacted budget allocation for and student enrollment numbers in elementary music programs.