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Plano ISD Named Among 'Best Communities for Music Education' for 12th Consecutive Year

May 20, 2011

Plano ISD, for the 12th consecutive year, was named among the "Best Communities for Music Education" (BCME) in a NAMM Foundation survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support for music education in schools.

Band students

In all, 179 communities out of 279 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 172 school districts and seven schools. The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities whose programs exemplify a strong commitment to music education. Established in 1999, BCME recognizes and celebrates schools, their administrators, teachers, board members, parents and students for their support of music education and their efforts to assure access to all students as part of the core curriculum.

Choir StudentsAccording to the official NAMM Foundation press release, the announcement of the 2011 Best Communities for Music Education campaign comes at a crucial time, as school districts nationwide finalize their budgets. The designation exemplifies a distinction worthy of pride, but also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve – and in some cases, save – their current music education programs.

Elementary Choral Students“Considering how hard communities are fighting to maintain school music programs, earning a designation this year has become more relevant than ever. We are proud to acknowledge these districts and schools and grateful for their commitment to a complete education that includes music,” says Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation, which sponsors the program. “Never has the evidence been more compelling: there is a direct correlation between music education and success in other areas of a student’s life. It is therefore crucial to continue funding music and arts education.”

Orchestra StudentsEach 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.

The survey was conducted between January 14 and March 14, 2011, in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Each school district or school was allowed to fill out one survey, completed by a school administrator and/or teacher with access to school and district demographic and budgetary information.

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