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7 Minn. schools get 'blue ribbons' from feds

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Seven schools in Minnesota have been designated 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

The schools share the award with 307 other schools nationwide, according to a news release from the federal agency.

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior, or have made dramatic gains in student achievement and helped close gaps in achievement among minority and disadvantaged students. 

"These Blue Ribbon schools have shown that all children can learn with appropriate supports," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is quoted as saying in the release. "They are producing outstanding results for their students."

The Minnesota schools being recognized are:

  • Delano High School

  • Lakeville North High School

  • Math and Science Academy, Woodbury

  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, Edina

  • Remer Elementary School

  • Thomas Jefferson High School, Bloomington

  • Vandyke Elementary School, Coleraine

To qualify for the national award, a school's students need to achieve in at least the top 10 percent of their state on state tests or, for private schools, the top 10 percent on nationally normed tests. 

Or, in schools where at least 40 percent of the students are from disadvantaged backgrounds, schools need to demonstrate "dramatic improvement of student performance to high levels on state tests or nationally-normed tests."