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NAMM Foundation Survey Reveals ‘Best Communities for Music Education’ In the United States

United States
Designation Provides Crucial Support for Local Music Education Advocates as They Fight to Save Funding for School Music Programs

CARLSBAD, Calif., May 5, 2010 — Amid a dramatic backdrop of school budget cuts, the NAMM Foundation today announced the results of its 11th annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support of music education in schools. The announcement came today as a part of NAMM’s “National Wanna Play Music Week,” (May 3-7) a week-long promotion designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits of playing music.

As the economy hinders state and local school budgets to adequately support music education, the 174 school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students.

The 2010 designation as a Best Community for Music Education comes at a precarious moment, as school districts nationwide are voting on their budgets in the coming weeks. According to the NAMM Foundation, this “Best Communities” designation represents not only a distinction worthy of pride, but a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve – and in some cases, save – their current music education programs.

“Past designees have benefited by receiving this mark of excellence, but this year’s economic environment is challenging for many communities,” says Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “Even having earned this designation, schools are working hard to keep programs strong in the midst of some of the deepest education cuts seen in decades. We hope this award presented at this critical time will compel communities to re-consider cuts that we know are in play in many districts across the U.S.”

This year’s roster represents 30 states, with a record number of communities from New York with a total of 74 communities designated. The complete list of “Best Communities” is appended below or can be viewed online at www.nammfoundation.org.

“This year’s survey data reaffirms the power of community support and commitment for music education as critical elements in quality schools,” added Luehrsen. “Music education plays a vital role in student success in school and in life. We urge schools nationwide to include comprehensive music and arts education planning in their competitive federal ‘Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation’ funding programs to sustain and expand local music education initiatives.”

The 2010 survey, which opened on Thursday, January 17, and ended Friday, March 12, was available to all districts nationwide. This year, teachers and school district administrators, representing communities across the country, participated in the web-based survey. The districts were measured across curricular and programmatic criteria as well as public support of their music programs. The survey was developed and administered by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

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.

Throughout the survey’s 11 years, many districts have reported that making the “Best Communities” list has had a positive effect on their ability to preserve music for their students amid budget cuts in arts programs.

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education, including Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts.org), League of American Orchestras (www.americanorchestras.org), The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org), The Metropolitan Opera Guild (www.operaed.org), Music for All (www.musicforall.org), Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org), National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (www.nationalguild.org), National PTA (www.pta.org), Yamaha Corporation of America (www.yamaha.com) and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.vh1savethemusic.com). The survey was conducted by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, KS, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.

The complete “Best Communities for Music Education” roster is listed alphabetically below.

• District Name, City, State
• Abington School District, Abington, PA
• Acalanes High School, Lafayette, CA
• Albion Central School District, Albion, NY
• Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ann Arbor, MI
• Arlington Independent School District, Arlington, TX
• Avon Lake City School District, Avon Lake, OH
• Baldwinsville Central School District, Baldwinsville, NY
• Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, MD
• Bay Shore Union Free School District, Bay Shore, NY
• Bay Village City School District, Bay Village, OH
• Beachwood City Schools, Beachwood, OH
• Bedford Central School District, Mount Kisco, NY
• Bedford Public Schools, Temperance, MI
• Belmont Public Schools, Belmont, MA
• Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, Franklin, MA
• Berea City School District, Berea, OH
• Bergenfield Public Schools, Bergenfield, NJ
• Bethel Public Schools, Bethel, CT
• Boerne Independent School District, Boerne, TX
• Boyertown Area School District, Boyertown, PA
• Brighton Central School District, Rochester, NY
• Canfield Local Schools, Canfield, OH
• Central Cambria School District, Ebensburg, PA
• Central York School District, York, PA
• Chesapeake Public Schools, Chesapeake, VA
• Cheshire Public Schools, Cheshire, CT
• Clarence Central School, Clarence, NY
• Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV
• Clarkstown Central School District, New City, NY
• Clovis Municipal Schools, Clovis, NM
• Cobb County School District, Marietta, GA
• Colonial Elementary School, Plymouth Meeting, PA
• Conestoga Valley School District, Lancaster, PA
• Connetquot Central School District, Bohemia, NY
• Cottonwood Elementary School, Wright, WY
• Cumberland Valley School District, Mechanicsburg, PA
• Cuyahoga Heights Local School District, Cleveland, OH
• David Douglas School District 40, Portland, OR
• Decorah Community School District, Decorah, IA
• Denton Independent School District, Denton, TX
• Dover Area School District, Dover, PA
• East Meadow Union Free School District, Westbury, NY
• Edmonds School District, Lynnwood, WA
• Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata, PA
• Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, ND
• Fayetteville-Manlius Central Schools, Manlius, NY
• Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land, TX
• Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, GA
• Gotha Middle School, Windermere, FL
• Great Falls Public Schools, Great Falls, MT
• Great Neck UFSD, Great Neck, NY
• Greenwich Public Schools, Greenwich, CT
• Guilderland Central School District, Guilderland, NY
• Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, GA
• Harford County Public Schools, Bel Air, MD
• Henrico County Public Schools, Richmond, VA
• Herricks Union Free School District No. 9, New Hyde Park, NY
• Hershey Middle School, Hershey, PA
• Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools, Woodmere, NY
• Hidalgo Independent School District, Hidalgo, TX
• Hilliard City School District, Hilliard, OH
• Hilton Central School District, Hilton, NY
• Homewood City Schools, Homewood, AL
• Honoka’a High and Intermediate School, Honoka’a, HI
• Hopewell Valley Regional School District, Pennington, NJ
• Hortonville Area School District, Hortonville, WI
• Hudson School District, Hudson, WI
• Huntsville Independent School District, Huntsville, TX
• Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District, Bedford, TX
• Independent School District 279 - Osseo Area Schools, Maple Grove, MN
• Indiana Area School District, Indiana, PA
• Irvine Unified School District, Irvine, CA
• Island Trees Public Schools U.S.F.D., Levittown, NY
• Jenison Public Schools, Jenison, MI
• Jericho Union Free School District, Jericho, NY
• Johnson City Central School District, Johnson City, NY
• Katy Independent School District, Katy, TX
• Klein Independent School District, Klein, TX
• Lawrence Township School District, Lawrenceville, NJ
• Lee County Schools, Opelika, AL
• LeRoy Central School, LeRoy, NY
• Liverpool Central School District, Liverpool, NY
• Longwood Central School District, Yaphank, NY
• Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, VA
• Lower Merion School District, Ardmore, PA
• Lynn Public Schools, Lynn, MA
• Manhasset Public Schools, Manhasset, NY
• Massapequa Union Free School District #23, Massapequa, NY
• Memphis City Schools, Memphis, TN
• Metuchen Public Schools, Metuchen, NJ
• Midway Independent School District, Waco, TX
• Millard Public Schools, Omaha, NE
• Milpitas High School, Milpitas, CA
• Mineola Union Free School District, Mineola, NY
• Montgomery County Public Schools, Christiansburg, VA
• Monticello Central School District, Monticello, NY
• Mount Lebanon School District, Pittsburgh, PA
• Nanuet Union Free School District, Nanuet, NY
• New Hartford Central School District, New Hartford, NY
• Newfield Elementary School, Newfield, NY
• Newtown Public Schools, Newtown, CT
• North Allegheny School District, Pittsburgh, PA
• North Babylon Union Free School District, North Babylon, NY
• Northport East Northport Union Free School District, Northport, NY
• Northwest Independent School District, Justin, TX
• Northwestern Elementary, New Tripoli, PA
• Nutley Public School District, Nutley, NJ
• Oceanside Public School District, Oceanside, NY
• Olmsted Falls City Schools, Olmsted Falls, OH
• Open Door Christian Schools, Elyria, OH
• Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School, St. Johnsville, NY
• Osage County R-II Schools, Linn, MO
• Paramus Board of Education, Paramus, NJ
• Pasadena Independent School District, Pasadena, TX
• Pasco School District #1, Pasco, WA
• Pendleton School District 16R, Pendleton, OR
• Pennsbury School District, Fairless Hills, PA
• Pequannock Township School District, Pompton Plains, NJ
• Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools, Perrysburg, OH
• Pine City Public Schools (Independent School District #578), Pine City, MN
• Pittsford Central School District, Pittsford, NY
• Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Placentia, CA
• Plano Independent School District, Plano, TX
• Plymouth Canton Educational Park, Canton, MI
• Plymouth Community High School, Plymouth, IN
• Port Jefferson School District, Port Jefferson, NY
• Potsdam Central School District, Potsdam, NY
• Princeton City Schools, Cincinnati, OH
• Propel East, Turtle Creek, PA
• Putnam Valley Central School District, Putnam Valley, NY
• Quaker Valley School District, Sewickley, PA
• Randolph Township School District, Randolph, NJ
• Ridgewood Public Schools, Ridgewood, NJ
• Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke, VA
• Royalton-Hartland Central School District, Middleport, NY
• Rush-Henrietta Central School District, West Henrietta, NY
• San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA
• Santa Monica-Malibu USD, Santa Monica, CA
• Sayville Public Schools, W Sayville, NY
• Scarsdale Public Schools, Scarsdale, NY
• School District of La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
• Shaker Heights City School District, Shaker Heights, OH
• Shaw Visual and Performing Arts Elementary, Saint Louis, MO
• Simsbury Public Schools, Simsbury, CT
• South Huntington Union Free School District, Huntington Station, NY
• Spokane Public Schools, Spokane, WA
• State College Area School District, State College, PA
• Stow-Munroe Falls City School District, Stow, OH
• Syosset Central School District, Syosset, NY
• The School Board of Polk County, Florida, Bartow, FL
• The School District of Hillsborough County, Florida, Tampa, FL
• The Sycamore Community School District, Cincinnati, OH
• The Troy School District, Troy, MI
• Torrington Public Schools, Torrington, CT
• Township of Union Public Schools, Union, NJ
• Trinity Area School District, Washington, PA
• Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, VA
• Wappingers Central School District, Wappingers Falls, NY
• Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown, MD
• Washoe County School District, Reno, NV
• Wayland Public Schools, Wayland, MA
• Webb Bridge Middle School, Alpharetta, GA
• Webster Central School District, Webster, NY
• West Genesee Central School District, Camillus,, NY
• West Hartford Public Schools, West Hartford, CT
• West Irondequoit Central School District, Rochester, NY
• West Lafayette Community School Corporation, West Lafayette, IN
• West Milford Township Public Schools, West Milford, NJ
• Westborough Public Schools, Westborough, MA
• Weston Public Schools, Weston, MA
• Willard R-II Schools, Willard, MO
• Williamsport Area School District, Williamsport, PA
• Williamsville Central School District, East Amherst, NY
• Woodside School, Woodside, CA
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