176 Communities Nationwide Achieve Prestigious Designation; 166 School Districts and 10 Schools Achieve Prestigious National Designation
The NAMM Foundation announced the results of its 13th annual Best Communities for Music Education survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools. This year, Ann Arbor has been designated a “Best Community.”
The announcement comes in anticipation of NAMM’s National Wanna Play Music Week, (May 7-13) a weeklong promotion designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits and fun of playing music.
Established in 1999, The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities who provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education. The BCME survey is designed and implemented in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kan., an affiliate of the University of Kansas.
The announcement of the 2012 Best Communities for Music Education campaign comes during a crucial time as school districts nationwide finalize budgets. The Best Community designation is a distinction worthy of pride, and it is also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve and potentially expand access to their current music education programs.
Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs. NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen encourages communities to use the designation as a cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs.
“We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts,” said Luehrsen. “We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.”
Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data.
A copy of the survey can be downloaded for review at www.nammfoundation.org.