Our Lady of Victory named Natl. Blue Ribbon school

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 1:32pm
By: The Citizen

Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in Tyrone was one of 50 private schools named 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools in the United States by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It was also one of four Atlanta Catholic schools named.

This year’s Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 3 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.  For the past 27 years, more than 6,150 of America’s schools, both public and private, have received this coveted award.

“These Blue Ribbon Schools have shown that all children can learn with appropriate supports,” Duncan said.  “They are producing outstanding results for their students. Some have shown dramatic improvements in places where students are overcoming the challenges of poverty, and others serve as examples of consistent excellence that can be a resource for other schools. They are places where improved teaching and learning benefit every student, and where students are challenged to meet high expectations with the active support of teachers, parents and the community.”

According to Diane Starkovich, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the recognition of four Atlanta Catholic Schools affirms the quality of education in Archdiocesan schools. “We are very proud of the academic excellence found in our schools and congratulate these school communities on the receipt of such a prestigious award.”

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior, or have made dramatic gains in student achievement and helped close gaps in achievement among minority and disadvantaged students.  Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals. Using standards of excellence, as evidenced by student achievement measures and the characteristics known from research to exemplify school quality, the Department celebrates these schools.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests or in the case of private schools in the top 10 percent of the nation on nationally-normed tests; and 2) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that demonstrate dramatic improvement of student performance to high levels on state tests or nationally-normed tests.

Holy Redeemer, immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Victory and Holy Spirit are all recognized for academic achievement in the top 10% of the nation.

In addition, public schools must meet Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, in reading (language arts) and mathematics.  Each state -- not the federal government -- sets its own academic standards and benchmark goals.

A total of 413 schools nationwide can be nominated, based on the number of K-12 students and the number of schools in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Chief State School Officer (CSSO) nominates public schools, and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) submits private schools’ nominations.  The schools are invited by the Secretary of Education to submit an application for possible recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. 

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