Only Public School in DC to Receive the Award this Year
McKinley Technology High School, one of five specialized high schools in D.C. Public Schools (DCPS), was recognized today by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as one of 269 schools across the country named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools. McKinley Tech was the only public school in DC to receive the award this year.
"I am so proud of the students, the teachers and the school leaders at McKinley Tech," said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. "McKinley represents the best of what DCPS has to offer – dedicated and inspired teachers, state of the art technology and students who are giving their all every day in their classrooms."
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes and honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students.
"As we saw earlier this year with growth in DC CAS scores and as we see now with this honor for McKinley Tech, D.C. Public Schools are on the rise," said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. "McKinley is truly an inspiration to the rest of the District. I congratulate Principal Pinder and all the staff and students at this great school."
McKinley Technology High School is the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) high school for the district offering a comprehensive school experience and specialized instruction opportunities in biotechnology, engineering, information technology and mass media technology. McKinley's STEM curriculum, state of the art technology, Advanced Placement offerings and emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving make it particularly desirable for students interested in the math and science fields.
"Secretary Duncan's recognition of McKinley as a National Blue Ribbon School marks an incredible milestone for our school," said David Pinder, Principal at McKinley Tech. "Five years ago our community rewrote our vision and mission to focus on becoming a high performing school that would be measured in the classroom by our innovative approach to instruction and in student outcomes by closing the achievement gap. We have now accomplished both. Our success is proof that one's economic condition does not determine one's educational outcomes."
McKinley offers a wide array of opportunities in the classroom and out. For the past four years, McKinley has won the Urban Debate League Championships. In addition, the school offers a robotics club and drama club, among other extracurricular activities. This year, McKinley saw their highest number of applications at over 800. Shira Fishman, a math teacher at McKinley Technology High School, was named the DCPS Teacher of the Year in 2011.
In 2005, only 38 percent of McKinley's students were proficient in math and reading. In 2012, they crossed the 90 percent threshold. McKinley is a Title I school. More than 50 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced priced lunch.