those with a bachelor’s degree to obtain interim certification and begin working immediately in schools while complet- ing courses toward full certification (MAPSA, 2018). An- other, “Michigan Teachers of Tomorrow,” boasts an online program with a website that notes, “Tere is no need for a traditional 4-year teaching degree” (Teachers of Tomorrow, 2018). In sum, the legislature seems to be demanding higher standards for some while lowering standards for others (House Fiscal Agency, 2018; Robinson, 2018).

Perhaps most troubling, however, is the potential for these bills to harm enrollment in teacher preparation programs, which is already down. In 2015-2016, there were around 3,700 teaching certificates issued to new teachers, a 33% decline from four years earlier (McVicar, 2018). Since statewide teacher shortages begin with teacher preparation enrollment problems, it is crucial to keep program costs manageable for prospective educators.

What You Can Do

As is oſten the case, the best course of action for concerned music educators is contacting legislators. Let your legislators know your concerns and don’t hesitate to question con- troversial policy. In addition, it is essential to stay engaged with education policy developments in the state. Local newspapers, unions like the MEA, and professional organi- zations such as the Michigan Music Educations Association (MMEA) and the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) keep track of impending legislation and rule changes that impact teachers. It is crucial for teachers--who are most directly impacted by education policies--to stay informed and make their voices heard.


House Fiscal Agency. (2018). Legislative analysis: New requirements for teacher preparation institutions. Re- trieved from

Kefgen, B. (2018, April 5). Teacher prep reform bills pass house committee [Web log post]. Retrieved from bills_pass_house_committee MAPSA. (2018). Professional innovators in teaching. Retrieved from http://www.professionalinnovatorsin-

McVicar, B. (2017a, March 15). Snyder, state board at odds over controversial A-F school grading plan. Mlive. Retrieved from ssf/2017/03/gov_rick_snyder_state_board_of.html

McVicar, B. (2017b, June 30). Snyder moves school reform office back under authority of Michigan education department. Mlive. Retrieved from https://www.mlive. com/news/index.ssf/2017/06/state_school_reform_of-

MMEA wishes to thank JWPepper & Son, Inc., for their

generous sponsorship of numerous MMEA events, including:

• General Music Fall Workshop • Collegiate Conference

• Young Singers Choral Workshops • Elementary Honors Choir

• Board Meeting Lunches

Please visit their website:



McVicar, B. (2018, May 21). Help wanted: Teacher shortage hits Michigan’s schools. Mlive. Retrieved from https:// beyond_teacher_qualit.html

National Association of State Boards of Education. (2018). About state boards of education. Retrieved from cation/

Robinson, M. (2018, June 1). Opinion: Michigan reform bills will hurt teacher education programs. Bridge Magazine. Retrieved from public-sector/flint-islam-and-fixing-damn-roads- your-michigan-governor-debate-recap

Teachers of Tomorrow. (2018). Michigan Teachers of To- morrow. Retrieved from https://michigan.teachersoſt-

Ryan Shaw is assistant professor of music education at Michigan State University’s College of Music, where he teaches Introduction to Music Education, Teaching Instrumental Music, and graduate courses in psychology of music education, curriculum, and

measurement. Prior to joining Michigan State University, Shaw was area head of music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

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