Best 100 Communities for Music Education. (Association News)
Persevering in the face of widespread budget cuts, 100 communities in thirty states have been named the Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America for 2003. It is based on a nationwide survey that MTNA co-sponsored with the American Music Conference, MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the National School Boards Association, VH1 Save the Music Foundation and Yamaha Corporation of America.
Music education faces a crisis in America, as budget cuts and a new emphasis on standardized testing threaten to marginalize arts programs. These cuts come at a time when the importance of music education is better understood than ever before. The College Entrance Examination Board found, for example, that students in music appreciation scored sixty-three points higher on verbal testing and forty-four points higher on the math than students with no arts participation.
Thousands of public school and independent teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, parents and community leaders, representing communities in all fifty states, participated in the web-based survey earlier this year.
The survey results show successful music programs are found in communities that balance measurable resources, such as budgets and buildings, with fewer tangible assets--such as the will to make quality music education a reality. The top schools for music education are found in urban communities and rural ones, in wealthy areas and not-so-wealthy ones, but the common thread is they benefit from the support of parents, teachers, school decision-makers and community leaders who value music education highly.
"The survey demonstrates that excellent music instruction is more than a process--it's a partnership," says Ingle. "Successful music programs result from the cooperative efforts of public school teachers, independent music teachers in the communities, parents, administrators--everyone who's in a position to influence students. Having physical resources isn't a cure-all. A quality musical environment is something a community must want for its young people and work together to achieve."
Of the 100 Best Communities, thirty-four were on last year's list. Those cities and school districts include the following, listed in alphabetical order.
School District Name City State Bay Shore Union Free School District Bay Shore NY Beachwood City Schools Beachwood OH Berea City Schools Berea OH Brentwood Union Free School District Brentwood NY Buffalo ISD 877 Buffalo MN Clarkstown Central School District New City NY Dearborn Public Schools Dearborn MI Edgeley Public School Edgeley ND Fargo Public Schools Fargo ND Fayetteville-Manlius Central Schools Manlius NY Fleetwood Area School District Fleetwood PA Fulton County Schools Atlanta GA Grand Forks Public School District #1 Grand Forks ND Greater Johnstown School District Johnstown NY Harborfields Central School District Greenlawn NY Henrico County Public Schools Richmond VA Jericho Union Free School District Jericho NY Katy Independent School District Katy TX Lombard School District 44 Lombard IL Madison Public Schools Madison NJ Middle Country Central School District Centereach NY Monroe Public Schools Monroe MI Nevada Community School District Nevada IA Northport-East Northport UFSD Northport NY Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Oak Park IL Osage County R-II Linn MO Ossining Union Free School District Ossining NY Pennsbury School District Fallsington PA Pittsford Central Schools Pittsford NY Richardson lSD Richardson TX Roanoke County Public Schools Roanoke VA State College Area School District State College PA Syosset Central School District Syosset NY Torrington School District Torrington CT
For the complete list of communities and schools, go to www. …