CAMS Nominated as 2011 National Blue Ribbon School

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CAMS nominated as Blue Ribbon SchoolOn Wednesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced 33 California public schools nominated for the 2011 national Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The list submitted to the U.S. Department of Education had 8 Los Angeles County schools including Long Beach Unified’s California Academy of Mathematics and Science. The 2011 winning schools are scheduled to be announced next September by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“The schools I have nominated to the U.S. Department of Education have stepped up to the challenge of closing the achievement gap and are deserving of this prestigious national honor,” said O’Connell. “They were selected because of their success over the last five years in increasing the percentage of their students achieving at the proficient and advanced levels in mathematics and English-language arts. I heartily congratulate all those who contributed to this success, including parents, teachers, staff, and administrators and, of course, the students themselves.”

California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS)

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) is a public magnet high school that opened on the California State University at Dominquez Hills campus in 1990. It’s the third best high school in California based on API test scores. The school has one of the highest rates of admission to Stanford and UC campuses and virtually all CAMS graduates go on to college. Most pursue math or science—disciplines that have traditionally been underrepresented among women and some minority groups.

This is not the first time that CAMS has been recognized for academic achievement. CAMS was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2004. The school also earned a gold medal in U.S. News and World Report ranking of America’s Best High Schools starting at #21 in 2007 and moving to #20 in 2008. CAMS is currently ranked #22.

CAMS scored 10 out of 10 on, an online guide and performance review site with listings of 200,000 public and private schools.

Blue Ribbon Schools Program

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. Schools recognized through the BRSP are national models of excellence for other schools to emulate. All of the 2011 nominees were either previous California Distinguished Schools or California Title I Academic Achieving Award schools.

In order for a nominated school to become a BRSP award winner, the school must meet also all of its 2011 Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress targets, for the school overall and for each numerically significant subgroup, such as socioeconomically disadvantaged children, English learners, and children of color.

Because the Blue Ribbons School Program is part of the federal No Child Left Behind law, schools with a large population of disadvantaged students that have either shown dramatic improvement in student achievement from 2006 to 2010 or schools that have maintained a superior level of achievement from 2006 to 2010 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 the Blue Ribbon Schools Program for more than 25 years to recognize outstanding schools. For more information on the program and to review a list of 2010 Blue Ribbon Schools visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

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