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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: NOVEMBER 12, 2008


Six North Carolina public schools were recently named 2008 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. These schools are among 274 public and 50 private schools to be recognized for helping all students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.

North Carolina public schools receiving this prestigious recognition are:

  • East Elementary and Jefferson Elementary (Cleveland County Schools)
  • Arthur W. Edwards Elementary (Craven County Schools)
  • Iron Station Elementary (Lincoln County Schools)
  • Huntersville Elementary and Providence Spring Elementary (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)
In announcing the schools, Secretary Spellings said, "These Blue Ribbon Schools are an example of what teachers and students can achieve. Now our challenge is to help other schools follow their lead."

For the past 26 years, this prestigious program has honored more than 5,800 of the nation's most successful schools. 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 to high levels on state tests; and
  • 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.
State education departments nominate public schools that meet the rigorous criteria 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.

Two representatives from each of these schools were honored during a National Recognition Ceremony held Oct. 20-21 in Washington, DC. They received a plaque and a flag signifying their No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School status.

Additional information regarding the No Child Left Behind 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.