Maple Elementary School is among the first Blue Ribbon Schools selected in the 2006 No Child Left Behind — Blue Ribbon Schools Program.
The Seattle school received a certificate last week from U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Deputy Assistant Secretary Cindi Williams.
The 250 public and private K-12 schools are being honored for helping close the achievement gap and for students who achieve at very high levels. A second group of schools will be announced in October when more data on achievements is available.
"These schools show what wonderful accomplishments can be made when we focus on the bottom line in education — student achievement," Spellings said. "All 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."
The No Child Left Behind — Blue Ribbon Schools are selected, based on one of two criteria:
• Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests.
• Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve 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.
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools must make adequate yearly progress in reading and language arts and mathematics. Each state — not the federal government — sets its own academic standards and benchmark goals.
Every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have an assigned number of possible schools for nomination based on the number of students and the number of schools in the state. A total of 413 schools can be nominated. The state's state superintendent of schools nominates public schools and the Council for American Private Education nominates private schools. Once the secretary has the nominations, she invites the nominated schools to submit applications for possible recognition as a No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School.
The 2006 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored Nov. 9 and 10 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.