by MATT SCHOEN, SUPERINTENDENT
DELANO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Forbes Magazine has facilitated an in-depth study looking at high performing school districts in the nation compared to affordable housing. Their latest survey looking at “Best Schools for Your Housing Buck” has ranked Delano Public Schools No. 1 in the nation. The overall conclusion from this survey is that the best high performing schools with affordable housing are in Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
School districts nationwide were rated by using a comprehensive database at Schooldigger.com. This database compiles performance on standardized tests that are required under the No Child Left Behind law and calculates percentile rankings for every school within each state. Forbes then went on to utilize two home value websites, Zillow and Trulia, screening for towns and cities where the median home prices were less than double the national median. According to these criteria, Delano Public Schools came out on top.
I am extremely proud to share the exciting news in this article with all of you. It has been a forgone conclusion that we have always strived to continue the tradition of educational excellence in our schools. But to be measured nationwide using these criteria is something very special indeed. I could only say the credit for this wonderful accolade goes to our talented educators, administrators, students, parents, and community members that have worked together to make this school district a high performing educational institution.
I believe that this ranking puts Delano at the top in the nation due to the special working relationship that we have with our city, business and residential communities. It is true that parents do seek out Delano due to the successful achievements of our schools, but I believe it goes much deeper than that. Delano is not only a great place to live due to its affordable housing, but also as a result of the services provided by our city, county and township agencies.
In addition, this past week we also received wonderful news regarding our elementary school. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, recognized 286 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2013. Delano Elementary School is one of seven Minnesota schools awarded this honor, based on their overall academic performance. DES was awarded as an exemplary high-performing school in Minnesota.
“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students in college and careers,” said Secretary Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent another example of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”
Prior to selecting a National Blue Ribbon School, the Department of Education requests nominations from the chief education officer in every state including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Secretary of Education then invites all nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. I am pleased to announce that the Department of Education will present Delano Elementary School the National Blue Ribbon School Award at a National Recognition Ceremony in November in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to the students, parents and educators of our elementary school. This is quite an accomplishment.
It is evident that Delano Public Schools are on the right track when it comes to achieving excellence and providing a world-class education at an extremely affordable rate.