Thirteen Maryland schools, including six public schools and seven Catholic schools, were designated National Blue Ribbon Schools today by the U.S. Department of Education.

The recognition is based on the schools' overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, the department said in prepared statement.

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Shipley's Choice Elementary in Anne Arundel County and Manor Woods Elementary in Howard County were among the six public schools recognized. Maryland school officials said each of the schools have high test scores in reading and math and many have significant numbers of economically disadvantaged students. All six of the public schools were previously named as Maryland Blue Ribbon schools.

"This honor truly recognizes the quality of work and instruction being provided to our students by our Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools," Karen Salmon, the State Superintendent of Schools, said in statement from the Maryland State Department of Education. "Each school's innovative achievements in preparing students for the future deserves our admiration and respect. "

The other public schools named are Sunderland Elementary in Calvert County, Centerville Elementary in Frederick County, and Ronald McNair Elementary and Farmland Elementary, both in Montgomery County.

The private schools are, Little Flower School in Montgomery County, Saint John's Catholic School in Saint Mary County, St. John Regional Catholic School in Frederick County, St. John the Evangelist School in Baltimore County, St. Louis School in Howard County, St. Mary Catholic School in Washington County, and Saint Peter's Elementary School in Charles County.

The national honors will be awarded on Nov. 6 and 7 in Washington DC, where U.S.Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will congratulate the Blue Ribbon recipients.

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