CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two West Virginia schools have been recognized as among America’s best.
Liberty Elementary in Hancock County and Wirt County High School were among 314 schools nationwide named Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2009 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools.
The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School program recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very high levels. The schools will receive an award certificate in recognition of the progress they have made.
“Both Liberty and Wirt County are examples of places where parents, teachers, administrators and the community have formed partnerships to help all students learn to high standards,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine.
“Their hard work, dedication and commitment to improved teaching and learning that benefits students can serve as models for others.”
To qualify, public schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance on state tests or have students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests. Private schools must achieve in the top 10 percent in the nation on national tests to qualify.
Under No Child Left Behind, schools must make Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, in reading and language arts and mathematics. Each state sets its own academic standards and benchmark goals since each state knows best what goals and criteria are most appropriate for its school districts.
“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.”
About 6,150 schools have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools since the program’s inception in 1982.
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