Thursday, March 10, 2011

MDUSD Music Education Crisis

This video and news comes from Theresa Harrington of the CCTimes. There is a music education crisis in the MDUSD being hard felt at Clayton Valley High School.  Check out the video here and hear directly from CVHS Music staffers.  If you have students that are interested in music, don't let them miss this great opportunity.  It is possible to enroll in academy classes and music.  But the fact that CVHS music enrollment projections for next year are at the lowest levels in decades is simply devastating news.

Watch the video below, MUSIC Education Crisis in the MDUSD.  Check out some upcoming events to support music at CVHS specifically.   .   What are we going to do to encourage students to stay with music, join our bands and choirs?  

This year, CVHS band students played at Disneyland (marching right down Main Street and attending workshops), in the Walnut Festival Parade and at Cal Band Day.  The rally band and drum line played at football games and other school events.  They've participated in community events (4th of July parades, seasonal events) and have been visiting their feeder pattern middle schools to promote music in middle schools. Next year, they're hoping for a big trip toNew York (two years ago CVHS went to New Orleans!).  Band is a community within a community.  These are good kids with a great bunch of parents behind the scenes for support.  Your student doesn't have to be a music "pro" to join band at the high school level.  Think about it  . . .


  1. The way to get more funding and save music and librarians, and bring back athletics? All MDUSD high schools, and all other schools, should consider a petition to convert to a charter school
    High schools would receive more ADA funding
    The petition to convert a school is signed by 50% of the school's teachers, California Education Code 47065(a)(2)
    " (2) A petition that proposes to convert an existing public school
    to a charter school that would not be eligible for a loan pursuant to
    subdivision (b) of Section 41365 may be circulated by one or more
    persons seeking to establish the charter school. The petition may be
    submitted to the governing board of the school district for review
    after the petition has been signed by not less than 50 percent of the
    permanent status teachers currently employed at the public school to
    be converted."

  2. So please explain about this charter thing. Vie heard of the parent trigger law and now this says teacher.... So say you get this 50% thing... Then what ? The sky opens and money falls?? Wouldn't you have to have a bonafide charter ready and willing to take over? Are there charters that have been know to do this?

  3. Hmmmm, interesting. Though, it needs board approval? I assume that our board would not approve something like that. But that article about LA schools was interesting .

  4. I think the charter applicant can appeal to the County and if needed to the State. The District does not have to approve.
    Anon 7:48, There are several charter operations out there, KIPP and Green Dot are well known.

  5. KIPP was one featured in Waiting for Superman. That was a very interesting movie, because for me , they took the idea that "low income" kids could perform, and in some cases, out perform their public school counterparts.

    I think everyone interested in education should see this movie in fact. Some very interesting ideas, scenarios, and information.

  6. KIPP and Green Dot have programs to improve education. A teacher conversion charter might be different because it requires teachers who sign the petition to certify they will stay with the school. MDUSD has a Montessori charter at Eagle Peak which has its own board which runs the school. Our high schools may be more like Granada Hills HS which converted in 2003

  7. The AP covered the new teacher-led charter conversions in an article on Feb 20 that was picked up around the West Coast. I covered it in my blog here:

    Teachers who are interested in this option should visit the link below for a description of the conversion process:

    In addition to the funding benefits (the entire per pupil funding goes to the school, instead of using about 40% to fund district-level expenses), a high school conversion allows the new charter to get the full high school per pupil state allotment, which is about $1,000 per pupil higher than the "blended" rate that a high school gets when it is part of a district that includes elementary and middle schools. (That's why all-high school Acalanes District enjoys a higher funding rate than adjacent blended districts.)

  8. Regarding this video, I just want to clarify that it's actually a year old. Our computer system somehow inadvertently posted it to YouTube as a recent video.
    Still, the loss of elementary music this year will likely impact the number of students who will take music classes in middle and high school next year.

  9. Thanks for the clarification Theresa, but it certainly is timely ! I do know that out of 1800+ students at CVHS only about 100 are in a band/orchestra / music in general. Very sad state. As we lose more and more music at the lower grades, we'll surely lose more at the HS level.

    The good news is that even during tough times the GREAT kids and faculty tough it out and make the best of it. They had a great time this year playing at games, events, disneyland, walnut festival parade, cal band day, etc. - well I said all that above, but it's worth repeating.

    All the district bands I've seen play (i.e. at the Walnut Festival Parade) are absolutely outstanding. I hope all schools will continue on with their Marching Band traditions next year and that enrollment bucks the trends.

    Since I think course selection sheets have been due recently, I would guess more projections will start coming out across the campuses. You are in the best position to get that info, so I hope you'll keep us posted.

  10. Supt adds ANOTHER new Administrator in SASS despite his promises on May 11 that the new Dept would save both costs and be smaller than C&I -- see agenda for March 15, item 14.1.

  11. The MDEA tentative agreement keeps elementary vocal music in place for the next year. The district has sent out five pink slips to music teachers: four vocal and one instrumental.
    Also, Sequoia MS instrumental music teacher Carl Kaiser intends to resign at the end of the year and districtwide music teacher David Wright is asking for a leave of absence starting March 25: