Four Nebraska schools earn national praise for high learning standards

By: - September 19, 2023 5:34 pm

The Nebraska Department of Education. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — The U.S. Department of Education is honoring four Nebraska schools as “National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023” based on exemplary high learning standards.

The Nebraska Department of Education announced the recognition Tuesday for schools in Dodge, Gretna, Omaha and Pender. These schools are among the state’s highest performing, as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests, according to the award criteria.

The schools are:

Nebraska Commissioner of Education Brian Maher said these schools represent diverse groups and populations statewide and are a model for all of Nebraska.

“We want to congratulate and celebrate the four Nebraska schools that have earned the Blue Ribbon Schools Award,” Maher said in a statement. “These schools are amazing examples of hard work, focus, and the desire for excellence.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and nonpublic schools for exemplary high learning standards or for strides in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups in the past five years. 

In total, 353 schools — 313 public and 40 non-public — received recognition this year across 46 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year from top education officials in all states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, DoDEA and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the honorees have set a national example for what it means to “Raise the Bar” in education.

“The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” Cardona said in a statement.

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Zach Wendling
Zach Wendling

Zach Wendling recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a double major in journalism and political science. He has interned for The Hill and The News Station in Washington, D.C. He reported for the Nebraska News Service and The Daily Nebraskan before joining the Nebraska Examiner staff as an intern.