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Department of Education and Congress: you say music is a core subject, it's time your policies reflect that.

I believe that standards-based classroom music education should be accessible to every student in the United States. Music programs are key in helping students develop a broad range of skills and positive character traits, as well as find an inclusive school peer group. The majority of Americans not only strongly support music education but also say their personal experiences with music education prepared them for their future careers.

Despite this and music's designation as a core class, music has not been given the same priority as many other core subjects. Some music teachers are being improperly evaluated based on students' abilities in math and English, and all are regularly lumped into the category of "Other" in key Department of Education studies and left off of public lists of programs eligible to receive grants. (Music programs can receive this funding, according to a clarification letter released by the Secretary of Education.)

I urge you to respect music education by pushing for common-sense policy changes that recognize classroom music as its own vital discipline the way the majority of Americans already do. By opening up already available funding for quality music education programs and associated research, as well as clarifying language on best practices, we can create an environment that allows music to help our students succeed.

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    National Association for Music Education started this petition with a single signature, and now has 6,180 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.