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Two elementary schools in Lawrence, Pinckney and New York, are among 102 schools in Kansas to earn this year's Challenge Awards from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.
The task force is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to strengthen confidence in Kansas public education and to promote positive aspects of public education in Kansas.
The award recognizes schools in high poverty areas for having higher-than-expected scores on state reading and math assessments.
The awards for Pinckney and New York are both based on third grade math assessments last spring.
This is the third consecutive year that New York school has earned the award. Last year, Schwegler school also earned an award.
"We're proud of the uncommon accomplishments of Pinckney and New York schools reflected in these statewide honors," Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll said. "Both school communities share a laser-like focus on our school board goals of excellence, equity and engagement. As a result, they are successfully raising the achievement of all students."
The state department has not yet released the full results of the 2013 assessments. Those will be presented to the Kansas State Board of Education when it meets next week.
According to 2012 data, 77 percent of the students at New York school, and about 59 percent of Pinckney students, are classified as economically disadvantaged, meaning they qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Both of those are much higher than the districtwide average of 39 percent.
Statewide, slightly less than 49 percent of students qualify as economically disadvantaged.
As a group, those students typically score below average on state assessments, and significantly lower than non-disadvantaged students.
"The Challenge Awards recognize schools that provide tangible proof of the long-held contention that all children can learn," task force Chairman Charles Volland said. "These schools are to be commended for overcoming the very real challenges that poverty poses to education."
The awards will be presented at a ceremony Nov. 13 in Junction City.