SFUSD released the following in a press release:
E.R. Taylor and Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary schools were named by the U.S. Department of Education as 2009 No Child Left Behind — Blue Ribbon Schools. Only 23 other schools in California received the honor this year.
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program (BRSP) recognizes elementary and secondary schools that are both academically superior and have demonstrated dramatic gains in student achievement, while serving an economically disadvantaged population of students.
“Our school community is thrilled,” says E.R. Taylor Principal Virginia Dold. “We’ve worked really hard to reduce the achievement gap at our school, and we’re seeing academic gains for all our students. We’re seeing that the teaching strategies we’re employing to better support our African American and Latino students apply to all our children.”
Robert Louis Stevenson Principal Dr. V. Kanani Choy is also very pleased. “I really believe that it has taken our whole school community—our great teachers, parents and students—to make our school reach this point,” says Choy. “We plan to continue to build on this foundation, and we know we still have a long road ahead of us. These are really challenging times in education.”
In order to be eligible for BRSP consideration, a California public school must have:
• Met all of its state targets under the 2007 Academic Performance Index (API), which is California’s accountability model; and all the targets under Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which is the federal accountability model. The targets must be met for the school overall and for each numerically significant subgroup, such as socioeconomically disadvantaged children, English learners, and children of color.
A 2007 Base API rank of 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. A rank of 10 means the school performs in the top 10 percent of all schools.
• Met all of its 2008 API and AYP targets, including those for the school overall and for each numerically significant subgroup.
• Demonstrated significant growth in the percent of students achieving the proficient/advanced level in English-language arts and mathematics from 2004 to 2008. This growth is based on the performance of the students in the highest grade at the school. For example, in a kindergarten to grade six elementary school, this growth would be measured by comparing the performance of sixth grade students in 2004 to sixth grade students tested in 2008.
For final BRSP certification, a school must also meet all of its 2009 API and AYP targets, including those for the school overall and for each numerically significant subgroup.
Because BRSP is part of the federal NCLB law, schools with a large population of disadvantaged students that have either shown dramatic improvement in student achievement from 2004 to 2008 or schools that have maintained a superior level of achievement from 2004 to 2008 are given priority for selection in this program.
The U.S. Department of Education designates a public school as “disadvantaged” if 40 percent or more of the students: (a) participate in the National School Lunch Program; (b) have parents who did not earn a high school diploma; (c) receive Migrant Education services; or (d) are classified as English learners.
The U.S. Secretary of Education has administered BRSP for more than 25 years to recognize outstanding schools. The nominees will be honored in Washington, D.C. on November 2-4 in a series of events hosted by the Secretary and his staff. For more information on BRSP and to review a list of 2009 winners nationwide, please visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/awards.html.