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National Blue Ribbon Schools Program

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Eligibility

Eligibility for Public Schools: The Department invites Chief State School Officers (CSSOs) for all states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to apply for recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools. In submitting nominated schools, the CSSO of each state and these entities must certify that the nominated schools meet the minimum requirements established by the Department and describe any other criteria used by the state to nominate the schools. States must rely on their state assessment systems to identify schools for submission to the Secretary. Each state's nomination criteria must pertain equally to all schools nominated by the state.

One-third of the public schools nominated by each state must have enrollments that include at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, all nominated public schools must meet their state's Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) or make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in each of the two years prior to nomination (2011-2012 and 2012-2013) and must do the same for the year in which they are nominated (2013-2014).

Eligibility for Non-Public Schools: The Department invites the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) to nominate schools that meet the criteria for recognition. Non-public schools interested in being nominated should contact CAPE directly at www.capenet.org/brs.html. In submitting nominated schools, CAPE must certify that the schools meet the minimum requirements established by the Department and describe any other criteria used to nominate the non-public schools.

Performance Award Criteria for Public Schools: Public schools nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award must meet one of two eligibility criteria:

  1. Exemplary High Performing Schools: "High performing" is defined by the CSSO of each state, but at a minimum means:

    1. The performance of all tested students in the school in the most recent year tested in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked based on the performance of all tested students.
    2. For each of the school's subgroups, the performance of all tested students in the subgroup in the most recent year tested in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics must be in the top 40 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked based on the performance of tested students in that subgroup.
    3. For the most recent year in which graduation rates are available in the state, the graduation rate of a high school must be in the top 15 percent of all high school graduation rates in the state.

  2. Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools: "Achievement gap closing" is defined by the CSSO of each state, but at a minimum means:

    1. The school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state for both reading (English language arts) and mathematics based on its progress, in closing achievement gaps between the school's subgroups and the state's all-students group over the past five years.
    2. For each of the school's subgroups, the performance of all tested students in the subgroup in the most recent year tested in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics must be in the top 40 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked based on the performance of tested students in that subgroup.
    3. For the most recent year in which graduation rates are available in the state, the graduation rate of a high school must be in the top 40 percent of all high school graduation rates in the state.
    4. The change in performance of all tested students in the school over the past five years, comparing only the more recent year to the earliest year, must not be less than the change in the performance of all tested students in the state in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics.

Performance Criteria for Non-Public Schools: Non-public schools nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Exemplary High Performing Schools: "High performing" means:

    1. That the achievement of the school's students in the most recent year tested places the school in the top 15 percent in the nation in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics as measured by a nationally normed test or in the top 15 percent of its state as measured by a state test. If a non-public school administers both state tests and nationally normed tests, the school must be in the top 15 percent in both.
    2. Disaggregated results for student groups, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds, must be similar to the results for all students tested.
    3. The graduation rate for non-public high schools must be 95% or higher in the most recent year.


 
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Last Modified: 11/22/2013