Date of this Version
Arts Education Policy Review 117: 1 (2016), pp. 13–18.
Federal laws and funding initiatives, such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Race to the Top campaign, have created an increasing incentive for schools nationwide to document student progress, standardize assessment practices, and evaluate teachers according to student success. In response, the Common Core State Standards, a popular yet controversial policy, has emerged. Implemented at the state level, these standards focus heavily on the areas of English language arts and mathematics, subjects not traditionally incorporated to a great extent in music classrooms. In order for music to maintain a role as an essential subject in the school curriculum, it is imperative that music educators be able to associate themselves with a complementary initiative that allows them to demonstrate how students are meeting benchmarks required at the state and national levels without sacrificing the integrity of music instruction itself. Of the existing models available, the Framework for 21st Century Learning provides the most appropriate structure for determining music teacher effectiveness and for organizing learning objectives that can be assessed to show student growth in music education classrooms.