U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently recognized 269 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools just before beginning his cross-country back-to-school bus tour.
National Blue Ribbon Schools
In an announcement at Arlington Traditional Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, Secretary Duncan shared that the Department will honor approximately 219 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on November 12-13 in Washington, DC. In its 30-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on nearly 7,000 of America's schools. The Department website has a list of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of achievement. The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is "Exemplary High Performing," in which schools are recognized among their state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is "Exemplary Improving," in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
To select National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department requests nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools.
Cross-Country "Education Drives America" Back-To-School Bus Tour
Secretary Duncan and his senior leaders are crisscrossing the country in September 2012, leading a series of events that reinforce the message that Education Drives America.
September 12 – Redwood City, California
September 12 – Sacramento, California;
September 12 – Reno, Nevada;
September 13 – Elko, Nevada;
September 13 – Salt Lake City, Utah;
September 14 – Rawlins, Wyoming;
September 14 – Rock Springs, Wyoming;
September 14 – Cheyenne, Wyoming;
September 17 – Denver, Colorado;
September 17 – Limon, Colorado;
September 17 – Topeka, Kansas;
September 17 – Emporia, Kansas;
September 18 – Kansas City, Missouri;
September 19 – Columbia, Missouri;
September 19 – St. Louis, Missouri;
September 19 – Mt. Vernon, Illinois;
September 19 – Evansville, Indiana;
September 20 – Lexington, Kentucky;
September 20 – Charleston, West Virginia;
September 20 – McDowell County, West Virginia;
September 21 – Roanoke, Virginia;
September 21 – Richmond, Virginia;
September 21 – Washington, DC
“In the past three years, I’ve traveled to 47 states, visited hundreds of schools and met with thousands of teachers, parents and students who are finding new and innovative ways to teach and learn,” Duncan said.
This is the third annual back-to-school bus tour for Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education. In 2010, the back-to-school bus tour included the Delta region in the South and the Northeast. In 2011, the tour covered the Midwest from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. Additional details, including specific sites, event times and participants, will be announced in the coming weeks on the bus tour blog. Senior department officials are also participating in over 60 satellite events along the bus tour route.
In Topeka, Kansas, Secretary Duncan will join Topeka Mayor William Bunten, educators, and local officials for a series of speeches and a presentation by area students at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. The site is an official U.S. National Park Service site, which is celebrating Constitution Day from September 16 to 18 this year. The site's education department provides resources and activities for educators and parents on the U.S. Supreme Court case, the Civil Rights movement, topics in social justice, and African-American history, and offers educational opportunities through distance learning activities, outreach programs and museum visits.
For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Education Drives America tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour12, or visit the Department’s bus tour blog.
Visit the Department of Education website for more information about these programs.