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October 23
1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]


[NSD] – Newhall School District announced today that nine of its schools have been selected by California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) as schools receiving the designation of 2011 Honor Roll school. Newhall led the way with the most awards of any district in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Meadows, Dr. J. Michael McGrath, Old Orchard, Oak Hills, Pico Canyon, Peachland, Stevenson Ranch, Valencia Valley, and Wiley Canyon Elementary Schools all made the statewide list of outstanding schools.

“I never get used to these notifications, said Marc Winger, superintendent of the Newhall School District. “Every time our schools are identified by one group or another I get a feeling of pride and success. Our principals, teachers and support staff make this happen time and again – whether it’s state or federal government recognition, or a business group such as CBEE – it’s always a great feeling of reinforcement for all of us.”

Schools receiving this distinction from the California business community have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. The CBEE Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the “Star Schools” Award and “Scholar Schools” Award.

“The great thing about this award is that it is based on the real growth over time of our students, unlike the failed model at the federal level that was designed under No Child Left Behind,” continued Winger. “Scores are tracked for growth over three years. This is a model that the state and federal governments should be using to identify high achieving schools.”

CBEE Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time. McGrath, Old Orchard, Peachland, and Wiley Canyon were recognized in this category. CBEE Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population. Meadows, Oak Hills, Pico Canyon, Valencia Valley, and Stevenson Ranch were recognized as Scholar Schools.

The latest recognition in Newhall follows a banner year that included a federal Blue Ribbon School designation at McGrath School and the nomination of Stevenson Ranch for the Blue Ribbon recognition next year, as well as the identification of Oak Hills, Old Orchard, and Stevenson Ranch as State Distinguished Schools. Many of the winning CBEE schools this year have appeared on the Honor Roll multiple times in past years.

The annual Honor Roll award is made possible with support from numerous businesses and organizations including State Farm, Macy’s, Edison International, Wells Fargo, Southern California Auto Club, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the California Business Roundtable, and several private foundations.

“We must change the conversation in public education from being about failure to one that focuses on replicating the success of schools like those on the Honor Roll,” said Greg Jones, CBEE Chairman. “These schools are not making excuses about their performance and are overcoming challenges and obstacles to improvement every day. Our goal is to highlight their results so they can be copied in other places.”

The Honor Roll is the premier school recognition program that uses only academic achievement data showing improved academic growth over time and a closing of the achievement gap.

“These schools are the bright spots of excellence in efforts to raise student academic achievement and close persistent achievement gaps,” said Jim Lanich, president of CBEE. “By highlighting them, recognizing their achievement and giving them a voice we hope other schools can learn from them and replicate their proven practices throughout the state.”

The Honor Roll list grew from 1,315 schools in 2010 to the current 1,614 for 2011. The number of Honor Roll STAR (high poverty, high achieving) schools increased from 478 in 2010 to 527 in 2011. A full list of the Honor Roll schools can be found at www.cbeefoundation.org/honor_roll.html.

 

About California Business for Education Excellence

The mission of California Business for Education Excellence (www.cbee.org) is to use the power of data to improve public education and close the achievement gap. Since 1998, CBEE has worked to focus businesses around a common agenda for high performing public schools leading to increased baccalaureate degrees and economic productivity. CBEE serves as the business community’s leading voice in education in California.

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