The National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) announced Tuesday that Lafayette Elementary School, 2445 Chestnut Ave., and Roosevelt Elementary School, 1574 Linden Ave., are finalists for the NCUST 2012 National Excellence in Urban Education Awards.
The two Long Beach schools serve large numbers of disadvantaged students, including many Latino and other students who are learning English as a second language, yet they have far surpassed the state’s goal of 800 on a scale of 1,000 on the Academic Performance Index. Lafayette’s API is 860, while Roosevelt’s is 840.
“This national honor again shows that Long Beach schools excel at serving all populations of students despite many challenges, including tough economic times,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has worked so hard in these school communities.”
Among the thousands of urban schools throughout the nation, 48 presented applications documenting that they met all the rigorous criteria for the National Excellence in Urban Education Award. Those 48 schools are the Center’s Honor Roll Schools for 2012. Among those 48 schools, 27 (including the two Long Beach schools) presented superior evidence of excellence and were named finalists.
“In many respects, this was the most competitive field of applicants we have ever reviewed,” said NCUST Executive Director Joseph Johnson, Jr. “If every school in America served diverse populations of students as well as the National Excellence in Urban Education Award schools, achievement gaps would be eliminated.”
NCUST officials will now visit Lafayette and Roosevelt early next month to determine whether the schools will be among about 12 that will receive the top award.
Prior winners of the NCUST honor in the Long Beach Unified School District include International Elementary (2010), Signal Hill Elementary (2008), Tucker Elementary (2008) and Edison Elementary (2007).
“The students, teachers, support staff, parents, and community at these schools are already winners,” Johnson said. “You should be proud of the difference they are making in the lives of the students they serve and their role as a model for urban schools throughout the United States.”