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
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
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
Jan. 17 - The secretary sends letters of invitation with
applications to the schools recommended by the state chiefs and
March 7 - Applications from the schools are due to the
May 21 - The secretary announces the 2003 No Child Left Behind -
Blue Ribbon Schools.
Fall 2003 - Washington, DC ceremony honors the schools.