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Last Updated: 03/18/2018

 Article of Interest - NCLBA
Paige Announces "No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools" Recognition Program

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today announced that schools singled out for national honors will now reflect the goals of our nation's new education reforms for high standards and accountability.

The No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools Program will honor public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their states or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.

Paige announced the new program at a meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

"In keeping with the principles of the No Child Left Behind Act, we will reward schools based on student achievement results, not process," Paige said. "Schools chosen for the Blue Ribbon will be ones that are meeting our mission to ensure every child learns, and no child is left behind. Blue Ribbon recipients will be national models of excellence that others can learn from."

The new program requires schools to meet either of two assessment criteria: It recognizes schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance in accordance with state assessment systems; and it rewards schools that score in the top 10 percent on state assessments.

Of the schools submitted by each state, at least 50 percent must meet the first criterion of having 40 percent of the students from disadvantaged backgrounds and showing dramatic improvement.

The new program will allow both elementary and secondary schools to be recognized in the same year. In addition, because the department will not usually conduct site visits of individual schools, it will rely on the recommendations of state chiefs and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

In keeping with the principles of the No Child Left Behind Act, the application focuses primarily on results, and it will help the secretary identify educational practices that are successfully closing the achievement gap.

Following is the timeline for the 2002-2003 No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools Program:

Nov. 4 - The secretary sends a letter of invitation to state chiefs and CAPE requesting their recommendations.

Dec. 20 - Responses are due from state chiefs and CAPE to the secretary.

Jan. 17 - The secretary sends letters of invitation with applications to the schools recommended by the state chiefs and CAPE.

March 7 - Applications from the schools are due to the department.

May 21 - The secretary announces the 2003 No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools.

Fall 2003 - Washington, DC ceremony honors the schools.

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