UPDATE: 'Blue Ribbon' honor goes to Rankin Elementary

Rankin Elementary in Tupelo was one of four Mississippi schools named 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools this morning by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Nationally, 314 schools were honored this year, including 264 public schools.
“These Blue Ribbon Schools have shown that all children can learn with appropriate supports,” Duncan said in a release. “They are producing outstanding results for their students.”
The program recognizes schools that meet either of two criteria: schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance in accordance with state assessment systems and schools that score in the top 10 percent on state assessments.
Rankin is currently a third-to fifth-grade school after the TPSD reorganized its schools this year. Last year, the school was a kindergarten to third-grade school.
Those receiving the honor in Mississippi along with Rankin are Center Hill Elementary in Olive Branch, D’Iberville Elementary in Harrison County and Long Beach Middle School.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal