Principals and teachers representing the 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools gathered in Washington, D.C., this week for their national award ceremony, and Secretary Arne Duncan was on hand to help them celebrate. This year, a total of 271 public and 50 private schools won the honor, which recognizes high levels of academic performance and dramatic gains in student achievement. Duncan delivered his congratulations at the awards luncheon and stayed around for a lively question and answer session with the teachers and principals.
“I can’t tell you personally how much it means to me to see the example you set, not just for your schools and your students, but for the entire nation,” he said. “If we can take what you guys are doing, take these pockets of excellence, and make them systems of excellence — if we can learn from your hard work, your dedication, your relentlessness, and take those lessons to scale — then we’re going to see our country and our children turn around.”