September 17, 2003
U.S. Department of Education
Paige Announces First List of No Child
Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today named 214
public and private elementary and secondary schools as
the first ones to be honored under the new No Child
Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The new program
recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing
the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very
The schools are selected based on either of two assessment
- Schools that have at least 40 percent of their students
from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve
student performance to a high level on state assessment
or assessments referenced against national norms at
a particular grade, as determined by the state's Chief
State School Officer (CCSO); and,
- Schools whose students, regardless of background,
achieve in the top 10 percent on state tests.
Of the schools submitted by each state, at least one-third
must meet the criterion of having 40 percent of the students
from disadvantaged backgrounds and showing dramatic improvement.
"In keeping with the principles of the No Child
Left Behind Act, we are rewarding schools based on student
achievement results, not process," Paige said. "Starting
this year, the program has a new name No Child
Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schoolsand it recognizes
schools that produce results for all of their students
regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or zip code."
Every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and
the Department of Defense Education Agency has an assigned
number of possible schools based on the number of students
and the number of schools in the state. The state's CCSO
nominates public schools and the Council for American
Private education (CAPE) nominates private schools. Once
the secretary has the nominations from the CCSO and CAPE,
the secretary invites the nominated schools to submit
applications for possible recognition as a No Child
Left Behind -- Blue Ribbon School.
"I am delighted to congratulate the principals,
teachers, parents, and students of the 2003 No Child
Left Behind -- Blue Ribbon Schools," Paige said.
"These schools are national models of excellence
that others can learn from and are meeting President Bush's
mission to ensure that every child learns, and no child
is left behind."
The 2003 No Child Left Behind -- Blue Ribbon Schools
will be honored at an awards ceremony with Secretary Paige
in Washington, D.C., October 30-31.
Further information on the program and a list of current
winners can be accessed at http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/awards.html.