Blue Ribbon Schools, Terrel H. Bell recipients to be honored at Midwinter Conference
Jan. 22, 2009
AUSTIN – Serving as models for schools across the nation, 26 Texas public schools selected as 2008 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) will be honored at the Texas Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference at 9 a.m. on Monday in Ballroom D of the Austin Convention Center.
Also to be recognized are 26 Texas schools that have been nominated for 2009 Blue Ribbon School honors.
The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes outstanding public and private schools that help students excel academically and that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. For the past 26 years, this prestigious program has honored more than 5,800 of America's most successful elementary, middle and high schools, including almost 500 Texas schools. The schools are currently selected based on one of two criteria:
At least 40 percent of a school’s student body must come from disadvantaged backgrounds and students must show dramatic improvement in performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) over the past three years in reading or English language arts and mathematics; or
The schools’ students must be ranked in the top 10 percent on tests in reading or English language arts and mathematics.
In addition, Blue Ribbon Schools must also meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and other federal requirements.
Under the program guidelines, Texas may nominate a maximum of 26 public schools for the award each year. In 2008, all 26 nominees were selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive the award and will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Robert Scott, commissioner of education, said the Blue Ribbon Schools and nominees represent just a few of the outstanding schools in Texas.
“Blue Ribbon Schools are perfect examples that hard work and dedication, by teachers, students, and parents alike, can lead to outstanding academic achievement,” Scott said. “These schools should be extremely proud of their prestigious Blue Ribbon designation.”
A list of Texas public schools named 2008 NCLB-Blue Ribbon Schools and a separate list of nominees for 2009 are attached.
Terrel H. Bell Award
In addition to the Blue Ribbon Schools, recipients of the Terrel H. Bell Leadership Award—Carlotta Brown, principal of Lora Peck Elementary in the Houston Independent School District and Diane Parks, principal of Taylor Ray Elementary in Lamar Consolidated Independent School District—will be honored at the Midwinter conference.
Brown began her career as a first-grade teacher in Houston, following the footsteps of her mother who had been a first-grade teacher for more than 30 years. As principal of Peck Elementary, Brown moved her school from an Academically Acceptable accountability rating to a Recognized rating in less than three years.
Parks, who has been the principal of two schools in the Lamar CISD, was tapped to open a new elementary school in the district, Hubenak Elementary. Her use of data to determine which students need targeted interventions resulted in 100 percent of students meeting the standards in math and writing, and 99 percent meeting the standards in reading and science on the 2007 TAKS tests.
The Terrel H. Bell Award recognizes today’s outstanding school leaders and the vital role they play in overcoming difficult circumstances. Bell began his career as a high school teacher and bus driver. As a teacher, principal, superintendent, state commissioner of education and as Commissioner of the Office of Education under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Secretary of Education under President Reagan, Bell exemplified educational leadership at its finest.
Bell worked with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) to found the Blue Ribbon Schools and the National Distinguished Principals Program to recognize outstanding schools and schools leaders.
Blue Ribbon Schools List