Sep 07, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La. - Today the United States Department of Education (USDOE) recognized five Louisiana public schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. Three of the five schools honored in Louisiana have a free- or reduced-meal percentage high than the state average and a minority enrollment greater than 92 percent. Additionally, the Schools’ Performance Scores, which is a state performance measurement, range from 105.3 to 153.1.

"We would like to congratulate these schools for achieving this exemplary status," State Superintendent of Education John White said. "The administrators, teachers, staff, students and families in these school communities are to be commended for their outstanding effort and success. The success of these schools proves what we have said as part of Louisiana Believes, which is all students can achieve regardless of zip code."

The schools earning the 2012 designation are Claiborne Fundamental Elementary Magnet School in Caddo Parish; Gretna No. 2 Academy for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish; McKinley Middle Magnet School in East Baton Rouge Parish; Oak Park Microsociety Elementary School in Caddo Parish; and, T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School in Calcasieu Parish. These five Louisiana schools are among 269 schools nationwide named 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

"The hard work of the educators, students, and parents at these schools has distinguished themselves as model schools," Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Penny Dastugue said. "As we work to improve our education system through implementation of Louisiana Believes, the success of these schools not only inspires us, but can serve as a guide for the education community."

Public schools are nominated for this recognition by their state departments of education. The Council for American Private Education nominates private schools. In 2012, more than 400 nominated schools were invited by USDOE to submit applications for possible recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria:

  • Schools with high-performing students. These are identified by their ranking among each state’s highest performing schools, as measured by their performance on state assessments.
  • Schools closing the achievement gap. These are schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that have significantly improved student performance on state assessments

In addition to the five schools named today, Louisiana public and private schools have achieved the Blue Ribbon distinction 142 times since the program was established in 1982. Since 2007, 31 Louisiana schools, including those named today, have received the award.

The 2012 National Blue Ribbon schools will receive their awards at a conference and awards ceremony November 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C.

For a complete list of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon schools, please click here.

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