For immediate release
September 20, 2011
Kathy Toelkes, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
Five Kansas Schools Recognized as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools
TOPEKA - Five Kansas schools were among the 304 U.S. schools recently named 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The National Blue Ribbon Schools award, one of the most prestigious education awards in the nation, distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.
In announcing the National Blue Ribbon Schools, Secretary Duncan said, “America’s long-term economic prosperity and civic engagement depends on our children receiving a world-class education. National Blue Ribbon Schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their success is an example for others to follow.”
The Kansas schools being recognized include Louisburg High School, USD 416 Louisburg; MacArthur Elementary School, USD 480 Liberal; Oswego High School, USD 504 Oswego; Sunflower Elementary School, USD 231 Gardner/Edgerton; and Union Valley Elementary School, USD 313 Buhler.
“These schools are to be commended for demonstrating the consistent focus, hard work and commitment necessary to achieve Blue Ribbon status,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Diane DeBacker. “I’m delighted to offer them my congratulations on a job well done in achieving this distinction.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria: High performing schools and Improving schools.
High performing is defined as follows:
• the achievement of the school’s students in the most recent year tested places the school among the highest performing schools in the state on state assessments of reading and mathematics, and
• disaggregated results for student subgroups, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds, is similar to the results for all students tested.
Improving Schools are defined as:
• demonstrating a positive trend in test results from the earliest to the most recent year tested,
• in the most recent year tested, the achievement of the school’s students places the school in the top 40 percent of schools in the state on state assessments of reading and mathematics, and
• disaggregated results for student subgroups, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds, shows improvement similar to that of all students.
The schools - 255 public and 49 private - will be honored at an awards ceremony November 14-15, 2011, in Washington, DC.
Three of the Kansas schools being recognized were nominated as representatives of High Performing Schools: Louisburg High School, Sunflower Elementary School and Union Valley Elementary School. Two schools, MacArthur Elementary School and Oswego High School, are being recognized in the Improving Schools category.
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