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NEWS RELEASES 2006-07 :: NOVEMBER 21, 2006


Five North Carolina public schools were recently honored as 2006 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. These schools were among 242 public and 50 private schools to achieve this honor.

Recipients received a plaque and a flag signifying their No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School status during a National Recognition Ceremony held Nov. 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

North Carolina public schools receiving this prestigious recognition are: Brawley Middle (Iredell-Statesville Schools), Davis Drive Elementary (Wake County Schools), Eastover Central Elementary (Cumberland County Schools), Laurel Hill Elementary (Scotland County Schools), and W.A. Bess Elementary (Gaston County Schools).

In announcing the schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Spellings said, "These schools show what wonderful accomplishments can be made when we focus on the bottom line in education – student achievement." Spellings added that all of these schools have students from all subgroups who've made impressive test gains or who scored in the top tier on state tests. "They are outstanding examples of how all students can achieve to higher standards," she said,

For the past 24 years, the U.S. Department of Education has recognized many of the nation's most successful schools through its Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Schools selected for this prestigious award model excellence in leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement and parental involvement. On July 28, 2002, Department officials announced that schools singled out for national honors must also reflect the goals of the nation's new education reforms for high standards and accountability found under No Child Left Behind.

Blue Ribbon Schools are selected based on one of two assessment criteria:

  • Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance on state tests, as determined by the state superintendent.

  • Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent on state tests or, in the case of private schools, in the top 10 percent of the nation on nationally-normed tests.

Of the schools submitted by each state, at least one-third must meet the criterion of having 40 percent of the students from disadvantaged backgrounds and showing dramatic improvement. State education departments nominate public schools for consideration. Once all nominations are received, the Secretary invites the nominated schools to submit applications for possible recognition as a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School.

Additional information regarding the Blue Ribbon Schools Program is available online at or by contacting the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.