Al Sharpton, Newt Gingrich, and Arne Duncan walk into a bar…


Ok, so, what do these three men have in common? Apparently, they’re all on the same page about one thing: education reform.

The trio is teaming up for a tour of cities across America in an effort to bring attention to the great need for public education reform in our country and to encourage all community members to become involved in the issue. The tour starts this fall and has scheduled stops in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Baltimore.

Now, you may be asking, “Why these guys? What do they have to do with education?”

Well, Arne Duncan is the easiest answer, as he is the Obama administration’s Secretary of Education. It’s his job to tout education reform. Rev. Al Sharpton and his civil rights organization, National Action Network, have long been concerned about the inequalities present in our school system. Rev. Sharpton believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to quality education. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich frequently talks about the need for education reform, especially in the areas of math and science. He often brings attention to several reports (“A Nation at Risk” 1983, Hart-Rudman Commission National Security Report 2001) that say America’s educational system is a national security threat. And, what do ya know, Mr. Gingrich used to be a college teacher.

So, three very different people can agree on the need for education reform in America. How wonderful! We’re all going to come together on this issue! We’re going to reform education! How? Well, at this point, we’ll have to ask the bartender for the punchline.

What is BA Productions Network all about?

What if there was a program out there that could transform lives simply by combining education with music? Well, now there is! BA Productions Network is a one-of-a-kind organization that has designed specialized programs that link these elements together in order to improve upon and add to our educational system.


What is one thing that ties all human beings together? Music! We are exposed to music every day of our lives, whether we realize it or not. (Think about the last commercial you saw, or the last person with an iPod you walked by.) BA’s goal is to harness the power of music—combined with traditional academic skills, creativity, and designed performances—and put it to use in an educational environment. BA’s programs use alternative teaching methods that will enhance a teacher’s existing curriculum.


What do you remember most about elementary school? Recess? The cafeteria? Teacher’s lectures? Standardized tests? The latter two probably weren’t the things you most looked forward to. Why? Everyone doesn’t learn in the same way. Many students are still learning by rote methods. In other words, they receive the information that they need from a teacher, memorize it and regurgitate it on a test, then forget it. They aren’t really seeing how to use and apply the information they are given. Many students actually learn best through bodily movement and hands-on activities (which is more fun anyway!). BA’s programs aim to reach these types of students, while making learning fun and engaging. Wouldn’t it be great to be excited to learn and apply knowledge every day?


If the “No Child Left Behind” policies aren’t working, isn’t it time to look for other options? BA’s programs offer schools and teachers an alternative way to get students involved and engaged. The programs are designed to use music and real life experiences to promote critical thinking, organization of thought, and proper application of resources and tools.


So, this all sounds good, you may be thinking. But, where’s the proof? We know it takes more than fancy words to convince people. BA backs up its programs by offering quantitative (comparisons of before and after test scores, grades, and other statistics) and qualitative (observations, journaling, videotaping, interviews, investigative research) data to evaluate the learning process. Ultimately, BA’s programs combine education and music to bring communities together and work to improve students’ test scores, grades, behaviors, relationships, and overall performance.


So tell me honestly....are you sold on it? Do you live in or around Chicago and want to see how BA’s programs can work in your school? Or, do you live outside of Illinois, but still want to see what BA can do for you? Let us know what you think! All comments and questions are welcome.