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10 Minnesota schools recognized with national 'Blue Ribbon' awards

The 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools were announced Friday.
School students raising hands.

The federal government's annual list of National Blue Ribbon Schools is out, and Minnesota is well represented this year.

In all, 10 of the state's schools made the 2019 list, which honors academic performance or "progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups."

More on that later, but without further ado, here are the Minnesota schools:

  • Aspen Academy, charter school in Savage
  • Hancock Secondary, Hancock
  • Hills-Beaver Creek Elementary School, Beaver Creek
  • Lincoln Elementary School, White Bear Lake 
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Alexandria 
  • Montevideo Middle School, Montevideo
  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, Edina
  • TCU Lonsdale Elementary School, Lonsdale
  • Trinity School at River Ridge, Eagan
  • Wayzata West Middle School, Wayzata

“I’m proud to celebrate these ten Blue Ribbon schools that are going above and beyond to give Minnesota students a world-class education,” said Governor Walz, per a news release. 

“We will continue learning from one another to make progress and provide every single child in Minnesota with that same extraordinary education, regardless of race or ZIP code.”

Five of the awardee schools are in the greater Twin Cities; the rest are outstate. 

The number recognized this year is a jump from 2018, when just six Minnesota schools received the award.

The Blue Ribbon awards are a U.S. Department of Education program, which allows "the top education official" in each state to nominate schools for consideration, according to the department. Each year, up to 420 schools may be nominated.

This year, 362 across the country made the cut. All will have serious bragging rights, with the Education Department saying that "the National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning."

The awards come at a time when Minnesota educators are working to close achievement gaps between white students and those of color.

As MPR noted last month, recent data shows a large and persistent divide between the groups in math and reading proficiency.

This is despite Minnesota education officials having "vowed to close gaps between white students and students of color" for decades, the station says.

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