Music education organizations achieved a huge success in Texas several years ago when legislation declared music as a part of the core curriculum. Similarly, more recent national education legislation like No Child Left Behind has recognized music as a core curricular subject. Since that time, little has been done to assess music students to ensure a set of basic skills and knowledge is being achieved. While national and state music standards exist, these standards, in many cases, are not mandatory and merely serve as a guide or recommendations for music educators to follow. Other core subjects endure severe oversight and rigorous testing at the state and local levels to measure whether or not students are attaining minimum standards. Some music educators are pushing for national testing of music students to demonstrate that music has an academically measurable component. Yet other music educators are fearful that assessment of music education will have the same negative effects that other core subject high- stakes testing has had on schools. This article serves to discuss the current debate on national music assessment and to argue that music education’s place in the core curriculum demands an increase in oversight through standardized music assessment of students in music education classes.
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