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Six New York City schools get ‘Blue Ribbon’ designation for their high test scores

City schools officials visited P.S. 130 in Manhattan in 2012.
City schools officials visited P.S. 130 in Manhattan in 2012.

Six New York City schools can newly boast that they are “Blue Ribbon” schools, an accolade awarded annually by the U.S Education Department.

The designation is given to schools in each state that meet certain performance standards. It does not bring any financial rewards, but it is considered a feather in the cap for schools that earn it. Schools that win get a plaque and are expected to share their strategies for success.

To be nominated, schools must have test scores in the top 15 percent in their state, and students in all demographic groups must score higher than at least 60 percent of students in their state.

Of the 342 schools nationally that were selected this year, 19 are in New York State and six are in New York City. The city schools are:

  • Icahn Charter School 5 in the Bronx
  • Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Charter School in Brooklyn
  • P.S. 115, the James Ambrose School in Queens
  • P.S. 130, Hernando de Soto School, in Manhattan
  • P.S. 195, Manhattan Beach School, in Brooklyn; and
  • P.S. 748, the Brooklyn School for Global Scholars.

The schools are a diverse mix. P.S. 195 is located in a middle-class neighborhood and serves mostly white students, while the students at Leadership Prep — part of the Uncommon Schools network — are almost all black, and more than two-thirds are from poor families.

The Manhattan and Queens winners enroll mostly Asian students, while P.S. 748 is more integrated than most city schools, serving Asian, white, and Hispanic students in equal shares.

Schools that have done an especially good job narrowing test-score gaps between students of different races and backgrounds can also win, but no school in New York State was recognized for doing that this year.

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