The National Blue Ribbon is an award given to schools in America that display overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education-that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”
The Blue Ribbon honors public and private schools across every age group. The award affirms not only the school districts, but also the work of students, teachers, families, and communities who helped improve their schools. Schools are recognized in one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools, which is measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests, and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools, who excel in achieving goals among student groups as well as over the past five years.
A total of 420 schools can be nominated each year for the Blue Ribbon Award, with allocations determined by the number of K-12 students and schools in each jurisdiction.