I was saddened to hear that the Mabton School District is cutting its secondary music program. It is understandable that in these tough economic times that school districts need to make cut backs, but eliminating an entire program is uncalled for.
The part of the article in the Daily Sun News last week that was most upsetting to me was when Mabton Superintendent Sandra Pasiero-Davis said that "since high school music is an elective, non-instructional core class it had to be on the chopping block". I would like to point out to the superintendent that the arts are defined as a core academic subject area in No Child Left Behind/Elementary and Secondary Act Title V, Part D, subpart 15, section 5551.
There are also numerous studies that show the link to music education and increases in academic achievement such as the following: "Students of lower socioeconomic status who took music lessons in grades 8-12 increased their math scores significantly as compared to non-music students. But just as important, reading, history, geography and even social skills soared by 40 percent". (Gardiner, Fox, Jeffrey and Knowles, Nature, May 23, 1996).
I sincerely hope that the Mabton School Board will reconsider cutting the entire music program, and instead spread the cuts equally across the district.
/s/ Brian Vessey, Grandview