Granger Junior High and National City Middle Among "The Best in Nation"
Both National City Middle and Granger Junior High are among 27 finalists nationwide vying for Excellence in Urban Education Awards presented by the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST).
"These schools are among the best urban schools in the nation," stated Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of NCUST. "Although these schools serve low-income communities with an array of challenges, every finalist boasts achievement results that exceed state averages for all students."
Schools that win the excellence awards have a supportive learning environment filled with rigorous curriculum, engaging instruction and positive relationships between students, faculty and parents.
Beginning this week, an evaluation team of NCUST researchers and educators are visiting both schools and grading the campuses on curriculum, instruction and climate.
"We are extremely proud of both National City Middle and Granger Junior High and their strong commitment to student achievement and academic excellence," said Superintendent Dr. Edward Brand. "The vision is that every child in National City will be prepared to go to college, and these two schools are the first step on that journey."
To be considered for an NCUST Excellence in Urban Education Award schools that apply must have scores on state tests that are higher than the overall state average. Also, scores for each demographic group served at the school must be higher than the overall state average.
In addition the schools must have: 1. non-selective admissions; 2. urban location; 3. low-income student population; 4. two consecutive years of 92% or higher average daily attendance; 5. two consecutive years of a low number of suspensions and expulsions for all demographic groups served; 6. high graduation rates, and 7. other indicators of academic success.
If they are selected as winners, the schools will be recognized at NCUST's 2012 National Excellence in Urban Education Symposium May 24-25 in San Diego.
NCUST is a component of the QUALCOMM Institute for Innovation and Educational Success at San Diego State University. The organization was founded for the support of urban schools nationwide, aiding the transformation of urban schools into highly successful institutions which promote enthusiastic learning, student success and the preparation for a positive future.