WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today congratulated eight schools across Maryland that were designated by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with a National Blue Ribbon Award. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.
The schools include:
- Cardinal Hickey Academy in Calvert County
- Fountain Green Elementary School in Harford County
- Kemptown Elementary School in Frederick County
- Lake Shore Elementary School in Anne Arundel County
- Our Lady of Lourdes School in Montgomery County
- Pine Grove Elementary School in Baltimore City
- Severna Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel County
- Smithsburg High School in Washington County
“Schools succeed when administrators, teachers, students and parents all work together toward the common goal of providing a high-quality education experience to our children. I would like to thank all of those who came together so that these eight Maryland schools could earn the prestigious title of National Blue Ribbon winner,” said Senator Cardin. “Education is the great equalizer and it is incredibly important that the successes of these schools are replicated across the state. I look forward to working to ensure that more Maryland schools are able to provide the same quality education to more students.”
“I’m so proud of these Maryland schools that have proven themselves to be models of educational excellence. We know that a quality education consists of tough and high-quality academic standards, safe and drug-free schools, and the latest in math and science technology,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Maryland’s Blue Ribbon schools have mastered these ingredients to create a recipe for success.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria. They must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked on the performance of all students who participated in the most recently administered state assessments in reading and mathematics. Or they must score in the top 40 percent in the state on state tests, or in the top 15 percent in the nation on nationally-normed tests, in the case of private schools.
The program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is part of a larger U. S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.