Top honors go to Lubbock Cooper High School, from the U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings.
Dr. James R. Davis visited Cooper on her behalf to honor it for being named a 2007 No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon School. Lubbock-Cooper High School is one of 287 public and private K-12 schools around the country receiving this prestigious award this year, and one of two in West Texas. Denver City High School was also honored.
"These schools are proving that when we raise the bar our children will rise to the challenge," Spellings said. "It takes a lot of hard work by teachers and students to become a Blue Ribbon school, and it's a privilege to celebrate their great efforts."
The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests; and 2) 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.
Under No Child Left Behind, schools must make Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, in reading and 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. This number is based on how many schools and students reside 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 Secretary Spellings to submit an application for possible recognition as a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School. Those selected will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 12-13.
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