Eight MN elementary schools recognized for progress on closing achievement gaps

The U.S. Department of Education recognized 317 public and 50 non-public schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. Schools across the country received the award based on overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Eight elementary schools were recognized in Minnesota for their work in closing achievement gaps: Centennial Elementary in Circle Pines, Grey Cloud Elementary in Cottage Grove, Highland Elementary in Apple Valley, Houston Elementary in Houston, Jefferson Elementary in Mankato, Northside Elementary in St. James, Richmond Elementary in Richmond, and Sunset Hill Elementary in Plymouth.

No schools in the state were recognized in the high performing category, as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. In 2019, Minnesota had six traditional public schools, one charter school, and two private schools recognized as exemplary high performing schools, and one public school was recognized for its work on closing achievement gaps.

While the 2020 recognition is noteworthy, it is telling that, save but one, the schools do not serve a large number of students of color, such as those in the Twin Cities who didn’t make the cut. As I write in my latest report, Minnesota has a lot of work to do to help all students access a quality education.