No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program: On July 28, 2002, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige 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. Paige announced the new program at a meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The No Child Left Behind—Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their states or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.
"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 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
Of the schools submitted by each state, at least one-third must meet the first criterion of having 40 percent of the students from disadvantaged backgrounds and showing dramatic improvement. The program will allow both elementary and secondary schools to be recognized in the same year.
- It rewards schools that score in the top 10 percent on state assessments.