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Archive for Saturday, October 5, 1996

SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS HIGH PRAISE

October 5, 1996

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Lawrence schools were awarded a blue ribbon by a business magazine.

The Lawrence school district scored well on a national magazine's list of the best places for growing companies.

In the most recent issue of Expansion Management magazine, Lawrence earned a blue ribbon, along with 12 other Kansas districts.

Two Kansas districts -- Olathe and Shawnee Mission -- earned gold medal status. According to the magazine, gold medal districts are those that score well above the national average in academics, community educational attainment and spending.

According to the magazine, blue ribbon districts are ones that score just as well -- and sometimes better -- than gold medal districts, but do so while spending at or below the national average on a per pupil basis.

"These districts are much like a Consumer Reports Best Buy offering superior performance at an attractive price," the magazine said.

Lawrence Supt. Al Azinger said he was pleased by Lawrence's blue ribbon standing.

"It's always nice to let someone else say that we're doing a good job," Azinger said. "We think we are, and it's good when others recognize that. ... We've got a lot of good people who make that happen -- good staff, good teachers and good administrators. It all works together."

The magazine, based in Overland Park, releases its annual ratings as a tool for business leaders to use as they consider expanding or relocating. The magazine examined 770 districts in the United States, 21 of them in Kansas

Joining Lawrence on the blue ribbon list were Blue Valley, Bonner Springs, Emporia, Garden City, Gardner-Edgerton-Antioch, Great Bend, Hays, Hutchinson, Leavenworth, Manhattan, Piper and Salina.

The magazine gave each district an education quotient. Lawrence's score of 120.6 ranked fourth among the Kansas schools surveyed, behind Olathe, Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission. Scores are based on a scale, with 150 the highest and 50 the lowest.

The magazine ranked Lawrence at 130 for the community's level of education and affluence (sixth among Kansas districts), 96 for spending (tied for seventh among Kansas districts) and 136 for achievement (sixth among Kansas districts).

The only Lawrence-area school district included in the magazine rankings was Ottawa, which earned a green light designation, which the magazine defined as its "average category."

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