These States Have The Most Blue Ribbon Schools in the Country

41 states had at least one award winning school.

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In the bustle of checking homework, driving to soccer practice, and packing lunches, sometimes it can be easy to forget to reflect on the quality of your child's school. But the new National Blue Ribbon Awards are a good reminder to take stock. This year, the U.S. Secretary of Education awarded 329 schools (279 public and 50 private) National Blue Ribbons for the 2016 school year. California, Texas, Illinois and New York were the states with the most awarded schools.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program started in 1982 with a goal to identify and share best practices between high and low performing schools. Since then, fewer than 8,500 schools have received the award. Public and private elementary, middle, and high schools can win the National Blue Ribbon award for one of two performance categories: exemplary performance on state or national assessments, or showing measurable progress in closing the achievement gap between subgroups and all students in the past five years. Student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates also play a factor. Winning schools get to display the National Blue Ribbon Schools flag outside their building.

These are the states with award winning schools, according to the number of Blue Ribbons awarded:

  • California, 33 schools
  • Texas, 29
  • Illinois, 21
  • New York, 20
  • Pennsylvania, 18
  • Michigan, 14
  • Missouri, 11
  • Georgia, 10
  • Kentucky, 10
  • Maryland, 10
  • New Jersey, 10
  • Indiana, 9
  • Louisiana, 9
  • Ohio, 9
  • Virginia, 7
  • North Carolina, 8
  • Wisconsin, 8
  • Colorado, 6
  • Tennessee, 6
  • Alabama, 5
  • Delaware, 5
  • Iowa, 5
  • Minnesota, 5
  • Arizona, 4
  • District of Columbia, 4
  • Florida, 4
  • Kansas, 4
  • Nebraska, 4
  • Oklahoma, 4
  • Alaska, 3
  • Arkansas, 3
  • Connecticut, 3
  • Department of Defense, 3
  • Maine, 3
  • Massachusetts, 3
  • New Mexico, 3
  • Rhode Island, 3
  • South Carolina, 3
  • Wyoming, 3
  • Hawaii, 2
  • Nevada, 2
  • Utah, 2
  • South Dakota, 1

To see which schools won the award this year, go to nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov.