September 13, 2010
Andrew Jackson Elementary Language Academy has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Andrew Jackson, a magnet school located at 1340 W. Harrison St., is the only Chicago public school to receive the Blue Ribbon honor this year and one of 19 schools from throughout the state of Illinois to receive the coveted designation in 2010.
Andrew Jackson is among a total of 304 schools nationwide – 254 public and 50 private schools – that will be honored at an awards ceremony later this year in Washington, D.C. The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or have made dramatic gains in student achievement, and helped close gaps in achievement among minority and disadvantaged students.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Schools program honors schools based on one of two criteria:
- Schools whose students, regardless of background, are high performing. They are ranked among the state’s highest performing schools as measured on state assessments or, in the case of private schools, which score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by national norms in at least the most recent years tested.
- Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance in state assessments or nationally normed tests.
“This award recognizes the years of hard work needed to provide an extraordinary place of learning for our students,” said Andrew Jackson Principal Matthew Ditto. “Our exceptional faculty and staff, our parents, our community members and our student body have collectively partnered to ensure an educational experience that prepares our students for high school and beyond.”
In recent years, other CPS schools named as Blue Ribbon winners include: George Leland Elementary School (2004), Horace Greeley Elementary School (2007), William Jones College Prep High School (2006), Robert A. Black Magnet School (2008), Walter Payton College Prep High School (2008) and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (2009).
Over the past 28 years, more than 6,000 of America's schools have received the coveted Blue Ribbon award. A total of only 413 schools nationwide can be nominated annually for the award, based on the number of K-12 students and the number of schools in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The state’s chief education officer nominates public schools and the Council for American Private Education submits private school nominations. The schools are then invited by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education to submit an application for possible recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.
Chicago Public Schools serves 417,855 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.