Environmental Science Magnet School earns state recognition | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Environmental Science Magnet School earns state recognition

Staff Reports

Lake Tahoe Unified School District announced Tuesday that Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School has been selected by California Business for Education Excellence as one of 1,221 public schools in California to receive the title of 2010 Honor Roll school. LTESMS was also named on the 2009 Honor Roll.

According to a school district press release, schools receiving this distinction from California’s business community have demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and have made significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all their students.

The CBEE Honor Roll is composed of two different awards – the “Star Schools” Award (477 schools) and “Scholar Schools” Award (774 schools).

The Honor Roll is supported by numerous businesses and organizations including State Farm, Macy’s, Edison International, Wells Fargo, Southern California Auto Club, the California Business Roundtable, and United Way of the Bay Area.

CBEE Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over four years and are outperforming expectations for every subgroup of students. CBEE Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population.

“We are so proud to be recognized by California’s business community as an Honor Roll school,” said James R. Tarwater, district superintendent and principal of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School since its inception in 2005. “Our teachers and administrators work tirelessly to keep the focus on high expectations and student academic achievement and to continuously improving our practices. This hard work and dedication is paying off for all of our students, no matter their background.”

The Honor Roll is the premier school recognition program in California that uses hard data, individual school and student subgroup performance data based on the California Standards Tests and the California High School Exit Exam, to evaluate school academic performance over time.

Schools that reach the Honor Roll have met a rigorous standard of increasing and sustaining grade level proficiency over four years and closing achievement gaps when they exist. These schools are bright spots in our public education system from whom others should learn best practices peer-to-peer.

“We must change the conversation in public education from being about failure and sanctions to one that focuses on schools and school systems that are getting the kinds of results that Honor Roll schools are achieving,” said Greg Jones, CBEE Chairman. “These schools are overcoming challenges every day. What has impressed the business community the most this year is the large increase in the 477 high- poverty schools that are exceeding expectations for every group of students. Our goal is to promote their results so they can be replicated in other places.”

Over the past five years, the Honor Roll list has grown from 304 schools in 2006 to the current 1,221 for 2010. From 2008 to 2010, the number of Honor Roll STAR (high poverty, high achieving) schools has more than doubled from 217 to 477. A full list of the Honor Roll schools, sorted alphabetically by county, can be found at: http://www.cbeefoundation.org/honor_roll.html.

“We know from the success of these schools that all schools and all students in California can reach high levels of academic achievement and we can close achievement gaps,” said Kirk Clark, president of CBEE. “By highlighting Honor Roll schools, recognizing their achievement and giving them a voice we hope other schools can learn from these schools’ ‘best practices’ and achieve the same results.”

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