The Ottumwa Courier

Opinion

April 13, 2013

Support E-B-F's music program

It has come to our attention the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont superintendent and school board is choosing not to backfill the elementary music teacher position and only providing one “special” per day at our elementary schools.

This will stretch our teachers even thinner and be a disservice to our students, thus cutting their music education classes in half. These crucial years provide the foundation of their music education. If limited they may get discouraged and may not further their music education.

Administrators say that reducing “specials” will give more time to teach core classes. “The term ‘core academic subjects’ means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography.” No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9101(11).

A 2011 proclamation signed by Gov. Terry Branstad stated the following: “Arts education contributes powerful educational benefits to all elementary, middle and secondary students.” It went on to list that arts education develops students’ creative problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, reinforces and brings to life what students learn in other subjects, interrelates student learning in such essential skills as collaboration and innovation, assisting real-life and work readiness. National leaders have acknowledged the necessity of including arts experiences in all students’ education for the “whole child.”

Our music program is well-known, not just in our immediate communities, but statewide and nationwide thanks in part to the 2006 Life magazine article featuring our band.

There are so many people that enjoy seeing the students perform. They support and help the program even though their students may have already graduated.

Please come to the EBF School Board meeting on April 15, at 6 p.m. to show your support of the EBF Music Program.

Thank you for your time on behalf of the EBF Music Boosters

Tish Reck

Ottumwa

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