U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today recognized 269 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels.
The three in Arkansas are:
- Russell D. Jones Elementary School (Rogers)
- Forest Park Elementary (Little Rock)
- Little Rock Christian Academy
The distinction comes for Forest Park as it celebrates another significant milestone - this year the school marks it 100th anniversary. A special centennial celebration marking the occasion will be held next month.
"Our nation has no greater responsibility than helping all children realize their full potential," Duncan said. "Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future."
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of achievement.
The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is "Exemplary High Performing," in which schools are recognized among their state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is "Exemplary Improving," in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.