This year marks the 30th anniversary of an American tradition—the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The brainchild of the second U.S. secretary of education, Terrel H. Bell, the program honors great American schools—urban, rural, suburban, public, private, charter, magnet, and choice schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels—across the country. The 314 schools in the 2012 cohort join a distinguished cadre. Of more than 138,000 schools in the U.S., only 7, 110 have been honored with this, the highest award the Department confers.
Secretary to Address Blue Ribbon Principals and Teachers
Principals and other school representatives will meet in Washington on Nov. 12 and 13 to celebrate their successes and share what they have learned with each other and with the Department of Education. In addition to Secretary Arne Duncan, guest speakers include Tyra Mariani, deputy chief of staff, on the Department’s new RESPECT initiative (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching); Marc Johnson, 2011 National Superintendent of the Year, on scaling up National Blue Ribbon School practices; Dee Gardner, principal of the National Middle School of the Year, on intuitive leadership in a data-driven world; and Michelle Shearer, AP chemistry teacher and 2011 National Teacher of the Year, on the complexity of teaching and the power of the human factor.
In addition to receiving their Blue Ribbon awards at a ceremony on Nov. 13, educators will have opportunities to share their best thinking on current educational issues as part of the Department’s National Conversation about the Teaching Profession.
For a list of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools and more information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program visit the program’s page on ED.gov.
Aba Kumi is director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.