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NEWS RELEASES 2007-08 :: OCTOBER 3, 2007


Five North Carolina public schools were recently named 2007 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. These schools are among 237 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: Bee Log Elementary (Yancey County Schools), District No. 7 Elementary (Cumberland County Schools), Hendersonville Elementary (Henderson County Schools), South Charlotte Middle (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools), and Tryon Elementary (Polk County Schools).

In announcing the schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Spellings said, "These schools are proving that when we raise the bar our children will rise to the challenge." Spellings added, "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."

For the past 25 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 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.

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.

Two representatives from each of these schools will be honored during a National Recognition Ceremony scheduled for Nov. 12-13 in Washington, DC, where they will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School status.

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.