Welcome to my web page! For links to my blog, please click here: Keep Talking.
You may also use the links above to find resources on graduate study and advising at Michigan State University as well as information on our current doctoral students and graduates in music education.
There is also a link to a page devoted to the distribution of clinic and workshop materials, handouts, research presentations, and other music education resources. All materials are offered free of charge and may be duplicated as needed, with proper citations and acknowledgements.
June 13, 2017: Interviewed by Ben Wermund, a reporter from Politico.com, on higher education funding in Michigan.
May 27, 2017: Appeared as a guest on the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s radio show, Keep Hope Alive Radio with Jesse Jackson, to discuss Betsy DeVos’ role in the attacks on public education, the privatization of the public schools, vouchers, and charter schools. (http://keephopealiveradio.iheart.com)
May 15, 2017: Interviewed by Avi Asher-Schapiro, a reporter from VICE News, for my perspectives on the influence of the “gig economy” in K-12 and higher education in the United States.
February, 2017: Radio interview on Betsy DeVos with WORT 89.9 FM, A Public Affair
February, 2017: TV interview on Betsy DeVos with Danielle Masterson, WHDT World News
February, 2017: Radio interview on Betsy DeVos with Air Cascadia, KBOO Radio
November, 2016: Interviewed by Ben Wermund from Politico.com on Betsy DeVos’ education policy history in Michigan.
January, 2015: Invited article and interview for Michigan Radio’s The Next Idea, on the importance of music education in Michigan’s schools; Link to article and audio recording of interview: http://michiganradio.org/post/focus-stem-overshadows-importance-music-education
October, 2013: WKAR Current State interview on Lansing School District cuts; Link to audio archive: http://wkar.org/post/local-arts-orgs-seek-return-certified-teachers-lansing-schools
May, 2013: Response to the Lansing School District's decision to eliminate 47 elementary music, art and physical education teaching positions in Spring 2013; Link to editorial and radio interview: http://www.music.msu.edu/news-archive/music-teachers-and-our-community
Also: Associated Press, Bridge for Michigan, WKAR’s State of Opportunity, The American Prospect, District Administration magazine, Education Town Hall at We Act radio, Institute for Public Accuracy, The Nathan Ivey Show, The Thom Hartmann Show, Michigan News Connection, WHDT World News, Friday Eight O'Clock Buzz on Madison, WI public radio, and other radio, newspaper, and television sources on education policy issues.
Popular Media Publications
Beneath the 'heartwarming' teacher stories, there's a real issue with the way public school teachers are treated
Aug. 22, 2018: My essay on Eclectablog was republished by Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/heartwarming-teacher-stories-overlook-real-issues-public-school-2018-8?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=topbar&utm_term=desktop
The Empress Has No Clothes
February 2, 2017: An essay that I co-authored on Betsy DeVos with T. Jameson Brewer, The Empress Has No Clothes, was published by the Huffington Post, a major online news provider.
Privatize, monetize, weaponize: How the DeVos family devoured Michigan's schools
Dec. 6, 2016: My essay was shared by the Daily Kos on their website: http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1607830/
Can it get more absurd? Now music teachers are being tested based on math and reading scores
October 21, 2015: My article on music teacher evaluation was published on The Conversation—a new media platform. This essay has also been republished on Blue Nation Review.
How ridiculous would it be if we did this to our schools? (Oh wait, we did.)
Oct. 13, 2015: My essay was published in the Washington Post’s education column, “The Answer Sheet,” at https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/10/13/how-ridiculous-would-it-be-if-we-did-this-to-our-schools-oh-wait-we-did/
The Most Wonderful Blog of the (New School) Year
September 7, 2015: EdWeek
A professor’s encounter with two Teach For America recruiters
Oct. 17, 2014: Guest column in the Washington Post’s education column, “The Answer Sheet,” edited by Valerie Strauss; Link to article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/17/a-professors-encounter-with-two-teach-for-america-recruiters/
Okemos Parents for Schools
January 20, 2014: This column, a response to a Thomas Friedman column on education policy in the New York Times, received over 16,000 page views in 4 days; link to column: http://okemosparentsforschools.blogspot.com/2014/01/column-asking-wrong-questions.html
Feb. 1, 2019: Ed’s (Not) Dead, interview on Betsy DeVos and her 2 year anniversary as Secretary of Education
Nov. 30, 2018: GOTMFV Podcast, “Top Five Worst Things Betsy DeVos has Done Since She Took Office”
Oct. 15, 2018: BustED Pencils, interviewed by Tim Slekar, Dean of Education at Edgewood College in Wisconsin, Episode 73: We’re (Teachers) Not Worthy, https://bustedpencils.com/episode/episode-73-were-teachers-not-worthy/
Aug. 27, 2018: BustED Pencils, interviewed by Tim Slekar, Dean of Education at Edgewood College in Wisconsin, Episode 69: Tim’s Brother from another Mother
Aug. 21, 2018: GOTMFV Podcast, A George Wallace rally looked a LOT like a Trump rally – with special guests historian Kevin M. Kruse & educator Mitchell Robinson
Mar. 27, 2018: GOTMFV Podcast, Are we misunderestimating Betsy DeVos and the GOP? – with special guest Mitchell Robinson
Dec. 5, 2016: The Sit and Spin Room Podcast, Trump’s pick for Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos UNVEILED & REVEALED with special guest Prof. Mitchell Robinson
Publication of my essays on education policy issues by Diane Ravitch, arguably the most influential blogger on education policy in the United States—these pieces may be accessed here: https://dianeravitch.net/?s=Mitchell+Robinson
Mitchell Robinson: Charter Schools in Michigan Have Done More Harm Than Good
September 17, 2018
Mitchell Robinson: What We Need to Do Instead of Opening Charter Schools
August 6, 2018
Mitchell Robinson: Why Schools Are Not Like Uber or Lyft, or, the Hoax of “Choice”
March 20, 2018
Mitchell Robinson: The Right Way to Arm Teachers—But Not with Guns
February 23, 2018
Mitchell Robinson: The Educational Malpractice of Eva Moskowitz
December 15, 2017
Mitchell Robinson: The Reformers’ Great Lie: “It’s All About the Kids”
October 14, 2017
Mitchell Robinson: The Danger of Silencing Teachers
April 20, 2017
Mitchell Robinson: The Best Argument Yet for Public Schools
April 12, 2017
Mitchell Robinson: Some Advice for Betsy DeVos
February 27, 2017
Mitchell Robinson’s New Year’s Resolutions
January 1, 2017
Mitchell Robinson: How Betsy and Dick DeVos Devoured the Schools of Michigan
December 6, 2016
Mitchell Robinson: From Michigan, This is the Real Betsy DeVos
November 23, 2016
Hey, Matt Lauer, You Have Been Hoaxed!
November 11, 2016
Mitchell Robinson: The Charter Debate Is Over
October 1, 2016
Mitchell Robinson: How Private Prisons are Like Charter Schools
August 21, 2016
Mitchell Robinson: The Brave New World of Student Teacher Evaluation
June 29, 2016
Mitchell Robinson: Who’s Who in the Education Wars
October 27, 2015
Mitchell Robinson: How the Reform Agenda of Churn and Chaos Undermined Detroit Public Schools
August 21, 2015
Mitchell Robinson: What You Need to Know about “Achievement School Districts”
July 25, 2015
Michigan: An Eye-Opening Charter Scam
February 26, 2015
Mitchell Robinson: What Does an Education Professor Say to TFA Recruiters?
October 20, 2014
Publication of my essays on politics and education policy issues on Eclectablog, a Michigan political website—these essays can be read at: http://www.eclectablog.com/author/mitchell-robinson
Let’s talk about Teach for America…
November 23, 2018
Please save me from the wisdom of self-appointed education experts, Part 293
November 20, 2018
Hug a music teacher today…
November 15, 2018
Bill Schuette, and His Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Ideas About Education in Michigan
November 5, 2018
No, we can’t “just be civil”…and here’s why
October 26, 2018
Tales of a foolish traveler: Or, random notes from a week in Shanghai…
October 14, 2018
Betsy DeVos doesn’t know what she doesn’t know about education
October 4, 2018
Let’s fund education like we value it
September 20, 2018
The continuing (mis)education of Eva Moskowitz…
September 13, 2018
BREAKING: “Trump Is A Snob Who Secretly Despises His Supporters,” and other surprises
August 30, 2018
Pay teachers more? Absolutely, but let’s do it for the right reasons
August 21, 2018
Please stop with the “heartwarming” teacher stories: this is no way to treat professionals
August 16, 2018
Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business
August 11, 2018
Why are *you* angry? Are you Red or Blue?
July 14, 2018
Diane Ravitch, fennel, and Cory Booker
July 3, 2018
Please save us from self-appointed “education experts”…
July 2, 2018
Trump Appoints “Dance Mom” to Head National Endowment for the Arts
June 28, 2018
Are we headed toward a “Civil War”…or are we already there?
June 25, 2018
The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates
April 28, 2018
An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea
April 27, 2018
A Simple Solution to Fix the Problem of our Failing Public Education System
April 18, 2018
Why underestimating Betsy DeVos is not just wrong–it’s dangerous
March 22, 2018
Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing
March 18, 2018
Betsy DeVos attacks teachers as “defenders of the status quo”–here’s why that makes no sense
March 14, 2018
The sinister motive behind Trump & DeVos’ plan to “harden schools”
March 13, 2018
Betsy DeVos is wrong about competition improving public schools
March 12, 2018
The stunning hypocrisy of Betsy DeVos
March 9, 2018
Enough with the bonuses, Mr. President*!
February 22, 2018
Arm Teachers? Yes! (But not with guns…)
February 16, 2018
Naming the Toxic Male Elephant in the Room
February 16, 2018
Engler Wrong Choice for MSU
January 31, 2018
The Educational Malpractice of Ms. Moskowitz
December 9, 2017
Roy Moore: Poster Child for Republican, Conservative, and Christian Values
November 12, 2017
Whose Truth is Marching On? A GOP Primer on Veracity
November 11, 2017
Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong
October 1, 2017
Zombie Education Reform Strategy #459
September 14, 2017
Let’s talk about apologies and do-overs…
August 22, 2017
Too little, too late, Mr. Trump…
August 14, 2017
They aren’t angry about statues
August 13, 2017
Want to improve Michigan’s schools? Ask teachers, not Gov. Snyder
August 4, 2017
There’s a lot to criticize about Donald Trump–why play the gender card?
July 28, 2017
Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation
June 4, 2017
The “Brave New World” of Teacher Evaluation
May 22, 2017
The media’s infatuation with “data”, and why it’s so wrong
May 11, 2017
Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education
May 10, 2017
Betsy DeVos flip-flops on school choice
May 6, 2017
Myths and facts about opting out of standardized tests
May 4, 2017
What you need to know about accountability, tests, and music
April 27, 2017
Closing schools is not an educational option
April 15, 2017
When teacher silencing becomes dangerous…
April 13, 2017
The biggest loss in education is the loss of teachers’ voices
April 12, 2017
A tale of two schools…
April 8, 2017
Are “Big Data” and “metrics” the new religion in education reform?
March 19, 2017
What’s “choice” got to do with it, Paul Ryan?
March 14, 2017
East Coast elites, intellectuals, and “smug liberals”: Oh My!
March 9, 2017
Who knew it could be so complicated?: DeVos edition
March 3, 2017
Only in Betsy DeVos’ Michigan can schools be “reformed” by closing them
March 3, 2017
Private school vouchers: A solution in search of a problem
February 25, 2017
Betsy, Betsy, Betsy…
February 23, 2017
Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable
February 21, 2017
What Trump and our society can learn from the arts
February 9, 2017
Betsy DeVos is approved by the Senate: What do we do now?
February 7, 2017
It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2
February 5, 2017
It’s Not All About the Kids
February 4, 2017
Betsy DeVos’ spokesperson, Ed Patru, works for a Washington “crisis management” firm that specializes in building “astroturf” groups
January 29, 2017
Betsy DeVos is not just unqualified, she’s dangerous
January 22, 2017
Flush this, Mr. President
January 21, 2017
Stacking the jury in the voucher wars
January 15, 2017
No, Betsy DeVos is not qualified to be Secretary of Education
January 14, 2017
How the reformers devalue teaching experience: Forbes edition
January 4, 2017
My New Year’s Eve resolutions for public education
December 31, 2016
Another fake news voucher story from the Great Lakes Education Project and Betsy DeVos
December 27, 2016
Why do we need National Standards in music?
December 24, 2016
Why we must NOT give Betsy DeVos and school choice “a chance”
December 17, 2016
Betsy DeVos, Steve Ingersoll, and Michigan as a “cautionary tale” for American education
December 16, 2016
Who’s narrating the “Teacher Shortage” narrative?
December 9, 2016
The “false equivalencies” of education policy: Betsy DeVos edition
December 8, 2016
Privatize, Monetize, Weaponize: How the DeVos family devoured Michigan’s schools
December 5, 2016
The truth about school “choice”
December 2, 2016
Dick and Betsy DeVos avoided paying school taxes on summer home
November 25, 2016
Trump names Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education: It’s Game, Set, Match for public education
November 23, 2016
Mike Pence is gaslighting us all
November 20, 2016
Guess who’s the most worried about Donald Trump becoming our next President?
November 12, 2016
The Today Show’s Matt Lauer deceptively pitches Shinola partnership as providing scholarships to needy Detroit kids
November 5, 2016
The 2 biggest losers in this campaign: Respect and tolerance
November 1, 2016
It’s not about you: More adventures in institutional privilege, music education edition
October 31, 2016
The charter school debate is over
September 30, 2016
The paradoxical world of education reform
September 20, 2016
Sorry, when it comes to education policy, this IS personal
September 12, 2016
Charter school funding fiascos: Misplaced priorities and warped values
September 11, 2016
See below for links to book chapters, articles, recent radio interviews and media coverage on education policy and other related issues.
May 27, 2017: Appeared as a guest on the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s radio show, Keep Hope Alive Radio with Jesse Jackson, to discuss Betsy DeVos’ role in the attacks on public education, the privatization of the public schools, vouchers, and charter schools. (http://keephopealiveradio.iheart.com)
May 15, 2017: Interviewed by a reporter from VICE News for my perspectives on the influence of the “gig economy” in K-12 and higher education in the United States.
My piece on the appointment of Michigan's Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was shared on Diane Ravitch's blog: https://dianeravitch.net/2016/11/23/mitchell-robinson-from-michigan-this-is-the-real-betsy-devos/comment-page-1/
A number of my essays on education policy have appeared on Eclectablog; click on the titles below to take a look...
I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to join the editorial team at Eclectablog! I will be focusing on education policy, particularly as it relates to public education and the corrosive impact of for-profit charter schools on our public school system, and am thrilled to contribute to my favorite political website in Michigan.
Click here for a brief interview with Chris Savage, the founder of Eclectablog.
I'm honored to have my essay on charter schools reposted on the excellent Eclectablog, here.
I'm very excited to have my first publication in the LA Progressive! I’ve admired this publication for a long time, and am thrilled to have one of my articles appear on their website.
My post on recent changes to teacher evaluation in Michigan, and their negative impact on music teachers, was reposted on Diane Ravitch's blog here.
A big thank you to Mandy Mikita Scott for her inspiration and contributions to this post!
Click here to listen to my radio interview with fellow education activist Denisha Jones
on the Education Town Hall: BUS (Badass Teachers Association, United Opt Out, Save our Schools):
Death Knell for “Ed Reform”?
Mitchell Robinson, of Michigan State University, and Denisha Jones, of Howard University — both active in BadAss Teachers Association — discuss the disappointment of teachers and teacher educators, nationwide, as unions and others jump on the “teachers are the problem” bandwagon of #TeachStrong.
Jones explains how the new effort fails to include many experienced schools of education, possibly in recognition of the fact that previous attempts to privatize and control schools has been thwarted by teachers and teacher educators.
Robinson also argues, however, that recent changes of tack for ed reformers, including Gates Foundation teacher prep funding, suggest reformers’ frustration because “they have not done one thing” and consequent flailing. Signaling, perhaps, a death knell for combative and unsuccessful strategies.
I'm thrilled to share my recent guest post on one of my very favorite political websites, Eclectablog! Chris Savage does a great job of keeping Michigan's citizens informed about what's happening in the state's political scene, and it's an honor to have my essay shared on this venue.
My essay on the main characters in what is referred to as "the education wars" was reposted by Diane Ravitch on her blog. To read the essay, click here...
My blog has been included on the Teach 100 list of "top education blogs."
An article of mine on music teacher evaluation, Can it get more absurd? Now music teachers are being tested based on math and reading scores, was published on The Conversation—a new media platform designed to "Inform public debate with knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence.”
My goal with this effort is to share my scholarship with a wider audience, and try to influence the narrative around the issues that are important to the profession. This can be difficult with traditional academic venues, like research journals, that have a limited circulation, target only other music educators, and often require a paid subscription in order to access. I believe that we have an obligation as “public academics” to spread our scholarship in these ways.
The Conversation is an open access platform with online editions in the US, Australia, Africa, France and the UK, and has a monthly audience of 2.6 million users, and a reach of 23 million.
My blog post, "Imagine," was picked up by Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post on October 13, 2015. To read the essay, click here:
Click on the link below to hear my interview on the problems with Teach for America on the Rick Smith Radio Show.
Robinson: Young creatives not good for art education
—Mitchell Robinson is associate professor and chair of the music education area in the College of Music at Michigan State University. 6:04 a.m. EDT September 27, 2015
As a former public school music teacher, music teacher educator, arts education advocate and chair of the music education area at Michigan State University, I am writing to express my profound disappointment with the recent announcement from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing of the “Young Creatives Project,” an initiative designed to “support funding of teaching artists in Lansing School District elementary classrooms”. To be clear, “teaching artists” are not certified arts teachers, and are not licensed to provide instruction in schools.
I was deeply involved with the Arts Council’s early efforts to advocate for restoration of the nearly 20 music, art and physical education teaching positions eliminated by the district two years ago, and a central component of our community arts task force’s approach at the time was the recognition that it was the responsibility of the district to provide certified, qualified arts and physical education teachers to deliver instruction to Lansing’s children.
When the cuts were first announced, the Arts Council served as the “convener” of the Lansing area’s community arts providers and agencies, arts educators and other community organizations, and organized the local arts community in a forceful and principled response to the District’s actions. We understood that it was beyond the scope and mission of these organizations to provide sequential, curricular arts education to the children of Lansing, and that agreeing to consider this move would effectively relieve the District of its responsibility to provide instruction.
While the Arts Council’s new “Young Creatives Program” promises to partner with the LSD to provide “teaching artists” in the schools, this initiative will actually result in a greatly diminished arts education experience for Lansing’s children, and all but guarantee that the District will never reinstate art, music or physical education for the city’s youngest children. So while children in Holt, Grand Ledge and Waverly have faced similar budgetary challenges, but still offer and support strong, vibrant art, music and physical education offerings, their peers in Lansing will be deprived of these experiences. And the achievement gap between Lansing and other school systems will continue to grow wider.
If the Arts Council truly wants to do what is best for Lansing’s children, they will reconsider this shameless attempt to profit off of the LSD’s decision to eliminate elementary arts education
in the city, and work with the District’s leadership to restore these programs to the schools. Lansing’s children deserve the same quality of education as their peers in other area schools, which
includes music, art and physical education instruction delivered by certified, qualified teachers.
— Mitchell Robinson is associate professor and chair of the music education area in the College of Music at Michigan State University.
Diane Ravitch recently reposted a blog post of mine on how the reform strategy of "creative destruction" has wreaked havoc in the public schools of many major American cities, including New
Orleans and Detroit.
However, one of the more subtle, yet damaging, weapons in the reformers' playbook is simultaneously less visible to the uninformed eye and more insidious in its ability to accomplish the reformers' ultimate goal: the destabilization of public education by an intentional, purposeful strategy of near-constant turnover and turmoil in the leadership and teaching force in the schools.
The business world has a name for this practice: creative destruction. It's a term coined by economist Joseph Schumpeter, and "refers to the incessant product and process innovation mechanism by which new production units replace outdated ones." Also referred to as "churn," this business-centered approach to school reform considers students and teachers as "raw materials," and schools as "factories." The goal is maximizing profits, and significant "collateral damage" (i.e., school closings, teacher terminations, student expulsions) is not only acceptable, but expected, in the single-minded pursuit of the reformers' goals.
"Creative destruction" comes in numerous forms in public education, from the year-to-year involuntary reassignment of teachers from one grade level to another, to the practice of having
elementary teachers with "all subjects" certifications teach subjects (i.e., music, art, PE) they are unqualified to teach, to moving principals back and forth between schools as though they are
pawns in a game of administrative Pong.
For more, go to "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Destabilize 'Em!"
I'm excited to share that my recent blog post on Achievement School Districts has been picked up by Diane Ravitch, perhaps our most influential education blogger and historian.
Click below to read the article:
There is the Recovery School District in New Orleans; the Education Achievement Authority in Michigan; the Achievement School District in Tennessee; and more on the way in other states.
The main thing you need to know about these experimental districts is that they promise rapid improvement in the state’s lowest performing schools, and all of them have failed.
I'm happy to share that my chapter, “A Tale of Two Institutions or... Myths and Musings on Work/Life Balance,” appears in the new book, “On the High Wire: Education Professors Walk Between Work and Parenting” from Information Age Publishing.
The purpose of the work/life balance series is to highlight particular challenges that higher education
faculty face as they participate in the demands of the academy and try to prevent those demands from invading their personal lives. On The High Wire looks at a specific subset of university
faculty, education faculty with school-aged children, and the specific professional/personal balance these faculty need to find. The title On the High Wire suggests the precarious nature of the
“walk” for education faculty who are parents of school-aged children. We know that our identities are central to how we experience the world and how the world reacts to us. This reality is
clearly visible in this book. These multiple identities and roles come into conflict at multiple points and in different ways. This book explores these identities and roles through
autoethnographic accounts written by varied education faculty in order to make these tensions visible for the field to address.
Click here to read this article that appeared in Arts Education Policy Review.
The following post appeared on the Badass Teachers Association blog (http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2014-12-04T09:29:00-08:00&max-results=7) on December 4, 2014
When we want to
improve something--a product, a process, a project--in the business world, we devote more time, money and resources into research and development; we recruit talented people and pay them a
competitive wage; we make sure we surround those persons with excellent facilities, equipment, materials, working conditions, benefits, and retirement packages; we treat those employees with
dignity, respect and compassion.
When we want to improve
something--teacher quality, student
learning--in public education, we establish invalid and unreliable accountability measures that have been proven not to work; we eliminate teacher tenure, teacher unions, and minimum salary
requirements; we make it easier for unqualified people to enter the profession, taking away jobs from more experienced (read = more expensive) teachers; we deregulate charter schools as we impose
unreasonable demands and expectations on our public schools, teachers and students.
And then we blame teachers and students for the problems created by this mismanagement, and label them as "whiners" and "complainers" when they have the nerve to voice their concerns about the damage being done to public education.
Qualitative research has become increasingly popular in music education over the last decade, yet there is no source that explains the terms, approaches and issues associated with this approach. In The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education, editor Colleen Conway and the contributing music educators provide that clarification, as well as models of qualitative studies within various music education disciplines. The handbook outlines the history of qualitative research in American music education and explores the contemporary use of qualitative approaches in examining issues related to music teaching and learning. It includes 32 chapters that address a range of topics, from ways of approaching qualitative research and ways of collecting and analyzing data, to the various music teaching and learning contexts that have been studied using qualitative approaches.
My two chapters are:
6 ‐ Changing the Conversation: Considering Quality in Music Education Qualitative Research.
31 ‐ The Politics of Publication: Voices, Venues and Ethics.
To browse an online version of the Handbook, please go to: http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199844272.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199844272
School districts across the nation are faced with challenging economic times. When tough decisions need to be made, arts funding is one of the first things some districts put under the microscope. Music Education at MSU looks at this through a different lens and plays a strong advocacy role for the arts in its community, across the state and nation.
In March of 2013, the Lansing School District announced it would cut more than 80 elementary art, music, and physical education teacher positions beginning in the fall of 2013. Faced with some tough budgetary issues and new State of Michigan Right-to-Work legislation, the school board and teachers union made the decision to eliminate teacher positions and supplement their programing by placing additional demands on existing teachers and seeking non-binding external subject matter resources and personnel.
Dr. Mitch Robinson, associate professor and chair of music education, and Rhonda Buckley, associate dean for outreach and engagement and executive director of the MSU Community Music School, took prompt action. They reached out to local and national arts organizations, teachers, parents, the MSU College of Education, and various associations to advocate for the centrality and importance of arts education in the general curriculum. New dialogues have evolved and relationships have developed as the College of Music continues to provide leadership on this issue.
Click here to read more on the College of Music’s perspective on this issue and listen to a radio interview with Mitch Robinson.
The 2013 Michigan Music Conference will feature an impressive roster of presenters with MSU affiliations--just click to see a full size version of the poster!
We should all be proud of our friends and colleagues who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise with their colleagues in our schools at this event. See below for a listing of these sessions.
I'd also like to point out three events for your special attention:
• Dr. Cindy Taggart will be presenting an all day (8:00am-4:00pm) pre-conference workshop, titled "Illuminating the Mystery: Music Learning Theory in Action. Cindy will be joined by two Spartan alums, Jennifer Bailey and Heather Shouldice, who will be co-presenters. This promises to be a terrific workshop!
• Dr. Kevin Sedatole, MSU's Director of Bands, will be conducting the Michigan All-State High School Band on Saturday. It will be great to have Dr. Sedatole share his musicianship and artistry with our state's young musicians. Congratulations Kevin!
• Dr. John Kratus will be receiving the MMEA "Award of Merit" for his contributions to the state's music education community, especially for his founding of the annual MMEA Honors Composition Concert, which will be held on Saturday, January 19. Congratulations to John for this well deserved honor!
Also, if you are planning to attend the MMC, please remember to join us for the MSU Reception on Friday. The reception will be held from 5:00-6:30pm in the Governors Room, and is a great way to catch up with old friends and touch base with the faculty and current students. We hope to see you there!
Congratulations to all of our presenters and clinicians, and thank you for sharing your expertise and ideas with your colleagues!
Click on the picture to the left to go to the Teachers College Press web page on our new book, What Every Principal Needs to Know to Create Equitable and Excellent Schools, edited by George Theoharis (Syracuse University) and Jeff Brooks (Iowa State University). My chapter is titled, "Music Teaching and Learning in a Time of Reform."
About the book. . .
School leaders who succeed at creating a high-achieving learning community must also be committed to creating an equitable environment for all students. In this new book, key scholars across the content areas show how to put into practice a commitment to equity and excellence across the Pre-K–12 spectrum. Readers learn directly from experts in each of the content domains (literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, music, early childhood, special education, English language learners, world languages, and physical education) how a commitment to social justice and equity can be grounded in core subject areas, why each has a place in the school, and what they need to know and do in each subject area. This book is a critical instructional leadership resource for new and veteran principals who want to see all students succeed.
“This book is a noble work of art; it is thoughtful, well written, and passionate. The authors and editors provide the pathway for all of us to contribute to social justice. It is a must-read!”
—Sarah Jerome, superintendent, Arlington Heights, Illinois, and past president of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
“By forging the linkage between equity and leader`s subject knowledge, Theoharis and Brooks provide a much needed and important extension in our understanding of instructional leadership.”
—Joseph F. Murphy, Vanderbilt University
“At last a book on what principals need to know that doesn’t sacrifice the idea of an education to develop the entire human being instead of workers who can compete with China.”
—Fenwick W. English, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Bridges the gap between the intellectual considerations of academia and the everyday aspects of leadership practice. It is a must-read for principals, superintendents, curriculum specialists, and those who prepare them.”
—Autumn Cyprès, The University of Tennessee
“Finally, a thoughtful, well-crafted book that guides school leaders on promoting both high-quality teaching and learning and equity principles to improve student learning across content areas and needs.”
—Terry Orr, Bank Street College of Education
“WOW! Social justice leadership with explicit core content areas addressed all in one book. All principals hoping to improve student achievement and equity should consider this book when thinking about their leadership.”
—Deborah Hoffman, principal, Lincoln Elementary School, Madison, WI
“As a school principal in high-need schools for the past ten years, I truly recommend this book to anyone interested in improving the state of learning and increasing achievement scores.”
—Rob DiFlorio, principal, Henninger High School, Syracuse, NY
Contributors: Antonio J. Castro • Julie Causton-Theoharis • Virginia Collier • Katherine Delaney • Catherine Ennis • Virginia Goatley • Beth Graue • Rochelle Gutiérrez • Kathleen A. Hinchman • Anne Karabon • Christi Kasa • Dave McAlpine • Mitchell Robinson • Victor Sampson • Sherry A. Southerland • Wayne Thomas
240 pages Paperback, $29.95 | 978-0-8077-5353-8 Hardcover, $76 | 978-0-8077-5354-5
Table of Contents
1. Literacy—Leading Literacy Programs That Foster Excellence in All Students
2. Mathematics—Beyond the Achievement Gap: What It Takes to Become an Effective Leader in Mathematics for Marginalized Youth
3. Science—Creating Effective School Leaders for 21st-Century Science
4. Social Studies—Teaching Social Studies for Democratic Equity and Excellence
5. Music—Music Teaching and Learning in a Time of Reform
6. Early Childhood—Learning to Love Your Noisy Neighbor: A Principal’s Guide to the Education of Young Children
7. Special Education—Leadership for Inclusive Education: What Every Principal Needs to Know
8. English Language Learners—What Really Works for English Language Learners: Research-Based Practices for Principals
9. World Languages—Understanding Foreign Language Instruction in Your School
10. Physical Education—Innovative Practices and Programs in Physical Education
George Theoharis is an Associate Dean in the School of Education at Syracuse University and an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Inclusive Elementary Education. He is the author of The School Leaders Our Children Deserve.
Jeffrey S. Brooks is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Educational Administration at Iowa State University. He is the author of Black School, White School: Racism and Educational (Mis)leadership.
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