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Downtown School Wins National Award

International Elementary School in downtown Long Beach is one of 13 schools to earn the prestigious National Excellence in Urban Education Award.  School officials will accept the honor from the National Center for Urban School Transformation during a May 5 to 7 conference in Long Beach.

“If every school in America served diverse populations of students as well as these 13 schools, achievement gaps would be eliminated,” said Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of NCUST.

To be eligible, schools must have high numbers of low-income students and may not have selective admissions policies.  Test results must be better than the state average on required assessments, and show few or no achievement gaps among various demographic groups of students.  All schools must have high attendance rates, low suspension and expulsion rates, and exceed the federal government’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)  for at least the past two years.

Each winning school receives a $1,000 check, a large banner for the school, and a profile at www.ncust.org.

At the winning schools, researchers found impressive evidence of students learning challenging academic content and skills in reading, writing, science, mathematics and social studies that exceed grade level expectations.  The reviewers saw students benefiting from “excellent academic support structures” that helped ensure their success in learning the challenging content.

Reviewers also saw teachers using engaging instructional methods that helped students perceive learning as interesting, relevant to their lives, and fun, according to a statement from NCUST.  Students, parents, teachers and staff reported that they felt respected and valued by one another and by the school administrators.

“Another outstanding feature of winning schools is the commitment of their teachers and administrators to continue to set and pursue even more challenging academic goals, even though these schools already have achieved results that far exceeded state or federal expectations,” NCUST noted.

NCUST is a part of the QUALCOMM Institute for Innovation and Educational Success at San Diego State University.

For more information on the National Excellence in Urban Education Awards or the NCUST Symposium, visit www.ncust.org.