The NAMM Foundation designated 307 school districts across the country as Best Communities for Music Education in a record-breaking year for participation. In addition to the Best Community districts, 66 individual schools earned the 2013 SupportMusic Merit Award for providing students with access to comprehensive music education.
The Best Communities designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum. This year, nearly 2000 schools and school districts participated in the survey – an increase of 366 percent from 2012, resulting in a record number of designations. This year’s increase in survey participation is an indication of growing support from both parents and administrators who recognize the vital role that music learning plays in student achievement.
Now in its 14th year, the BCME program requires each school and district to detail funding, staffing, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. Responses are meticulously reviewed by researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.
As school districts across the United States finalize 2013-2014 budgets, the announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designees focuses attention on the importance of keeping music education part of school’s core education. Past designees report that receiving a BCME designation significantly improved their ability to preserve their schools’ music education programs.
For a full list of 2013 designees, visit www.nammfoundation.org.