You Can Make a Difference

Mike Lawson • May 2007 • May 23, 2007

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I often use this space to provide advocacy advice and suggest strategies for use in saving, maintaining, and expanding programs for everyone to consider. Not today.

Instead, I want to share with you an actual exchange with a band director whose program was in an immediate crisis.



Wow! It is early Thursday evening, before the Easter holiday weekend and she has to have a plan in place to defend her program by Monday! Unfortunately, this is an all too common scenario for many music and arts educators. So, what can we do with such short notice?


How to proceed?
Let’s deconstruct the problem. What issues are illuminated in this email and what do they really mean?

  • First – Why are they proposing making the program an “after-school program?”

They don’t feel that students should be missing other classes for band.

Ahhhh… they do not like the pullout program for lessons. What they (the administrators) mean by this statement is they are concerned the pullout program will have an adverse impact on the school’s test scores. (Note to self – send information on how pullout programs have no impact on academic performance of participating students.)


  • Second – What does this mean for student participation?


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