A leading California business group has recognized 45 San Diego Unified schools as being "bright spots of excellence," with positions on its annual Honor Roll.
California Business for Education Excellence, a group whose members include the Bank of America, Blue Shield of California, Macy's and Webcor Builders, designated 21 San Diego Unified schools as Star Schools, which are high poverty, high performing, achievement gap closing schools. Another 24 schools were named Scholar Schools, identified as high performing schools without significant levels of low-income students. Nine schools on the Honor Roll were named STEM Schools for their high performance in math and science.
"It's especially gratifying for the students, teachers and staff to be recognized for reducing the achievement gap and being high-performing schools," said Superintendent Bill Kowba. "These are key areas that are the focus of the Board of Education and our staff and it's good to have an independent organization verify the success in these areas."
The following schools were on the Honor Roll.
Star Schools -- high poverty, high performing, achievement gap closing schools: Angier, Birney, Crown Point, Cubberley, Edison, Ericson, Florence, Garfield, Green, Hardy, Jones, Kimbrough, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Sandburg, Sherman, Vista Grande, Wegeforth, Zamorano elementary schools; Language Academy and Mira Mesa High School.
Scholar Schools -- high performing schools without significant levels of low-income students: Benchley/Weinberger, Bird Rock, Curie, Dailard, Dingeman, Doyle, Grant, Hearst, Holmes, Jerabek, Kumeyaay, La Jolla, Marvin, Miramar Ranch, Scripps, Sessions, Silver Gate, Sunset View, Tierrasanta, Torrey Pines elementary schools; Marshall and Standley middle schools; La Jolla and Scripps Ranch high schools.
STEM Schools -- Honor Roll schools with highest performance for math and science: Angier, Birney, Ericson, Garfield, Green, Hardy, Pacific Beach, Sandburg, Vista Grande elementary schools.
"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 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. For San Diego Unified, the 2011 list honored 45 schools, up from 28 in 2010, not including charter schools. In the program's first year, 2005, just six schools were on the list. A full list of the Honor Roll schools and the STEM Honor Roll can be found at: www.cbeefoundation.org/honor_roll.html.
"These schools are the bright spots of excellence in efforts to raise student academic achievement and close persistent achievement gaps," said Jim Lanich, California Business for Education Excellence president. "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 annual Honor Roll award is made possible with support from numerous businesses and organizations including State Farm, Macy¹s, Edison International, Wells Fargo, Southern California Auto Club, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the California Business Roundtable, and several private foundations. Chevron Corporation provided specific support in the creation of the STEM Honor Roll.