Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School Named 2021 National Blue Ribbon School

Ann Arbor Public Schools Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School has been designated as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.  U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School has been awarded this distinguished honor based on their academic excellence.

In receiving this distinguished national honor, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School joins other Ann Arbor Public Schools that have been honored during recent years:

Community High School received the Blue Ribbon designation in 2019, Allen Elementary in 2017, Angell Elementary and Wines Elementary Schools in 2015 and King Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2014.

“It is a great day in the Ann Arbor Public Schools as we celebrate this distinguished honor for Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School,” said AAPS Superintendent Jeanice Swift. “It is rare for this esteemed honor to be given to a school for a second time.  We are fortunate that the exemplary work of our King Elementary School teachers, staff and students, has been recognized with this prestigious national distinction.

“Under the leadership of now-retired Principal Mary Cooper and as we welcome Principal Koren Clinkscale, the exceptional performance at King continues strong over time.  This prestigious honor confirms the exemplary work of our teachers and staff every day to ensure quality educational and enrichment experiences, achievement outcomes and success for each and every student. Congratulations to the King Elementary staff, students, parents and community.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021 based on their overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve high levels.

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend this school and all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education officials in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).