KIPP Raíces Academy named National Blue Ribbon School

ByCraig Clough

Read full article at


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 335 schools today as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2015, and included on the list is one from LA Unified, the independent charter Kipp Raíces Academy School.

Kipp is one of 33 schools from California to receive the honor, which recognizes both public and private elementary, middle, and high schools in which “students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.” It is also the only charter among the California schools honored.

The KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) network operates 13 LA Unified independent charter schools in South and East Los Angeles. The Raíces Academy is an elementary school that was founded in 2008, with a student population that is 96 percent Latino and 90 percent of students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch, according to its website.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Duncan said in a video message to the awardees. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction, and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence—in vision, in implementation, and in results—and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”

One the recent Smarter Balanced standardized test, KIPP Raíces had 74 percent of its students meet or exceed the standards in English language arts and 79 percent meet or exceed the math standards, far outpacing the state and district averages.