After reviewing student achievement data in every public school in California, California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) has named Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District‘s Emma C. Smith and Sunset Elementary School as 2010 California Business for Education Excellence Honor Roll Schools.

The 2010 Honor Roll includes 1,315 California public elementary, middle and high schools that have been recognized by California’s business community for having demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and making significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all their students. The annual award is supported by numerous businesses and organizations including State Farm, Macy’s, Edison International, Wells Fargo, Southern California Auto Club, the California Business Roundtable, and United Way of the Bay Area.

The list of Honor Roll schools continues to grow, thanks to the hard work and effective practices of excellent principals, teachers and district leaders in our public schools. Using data from, a free and accurate source of longitudinal student academic performance data ( ), CBEE has identified and will honor the highest performing public schools in California.

Schools making up the Honor Roll are consistently raising academic achievement and making significant progress toward closing achievement gaps for all students. These schools are being recognized not only for their achievements, but so that other schools can learn the successful strategies or “best practices” of these Honor Roll schools.

Since its beginning in 2006, the Honor Roll list has grown from 304 schools in 2006 to 569 schools in 2007 to 911 schools in 2008 to 1,304 in 2009. This is a testament to the hard work and relentless focus on results for students that these schools have shown over the years. It is also a strong statement about how success is occurring and spreading in public schools across the state.

The Honor Roll is the premier school recognition program in California that uses hard data, individual school and student subgroup performance data based on the California Standards Tests and the California High School Exit Exam, to evaluate school academic performance over time. Schools that reach the Honor Roll have met a rigorous standard of increasing and sustaining grade level proficiency over four years and closing achievement gaps when they exist.

The Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the “Star Schools” Award (478 schools) and “Scholar Schools” Award (837 schools). CBEE Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over four years and are outperforming expectations for every subgroup of students. CBEE Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population. “These schools are the bright spots of excellence in efforts to raise student academic achievement and close persistent achievement gaps,” said Kirk Clark, president of CBEE. “By highlighting them, recognizing their achievement and giving them a voice we hope other schools can learn from these proven practices and we can begin to duplicate their success to scale throughout the state.”

“We must change the conversation in public education from being about failure and sanctions to one that focuses on schools and school systems that are getting the kinds of results that Honor Roll schools are achieving,” said Greg Jones, CBEE Chairman. “These schools are overcoming challenges every day. What has impressed the business community the most this year is the large increase in the 478 high-poverty schools that are exceeding expectations for every group of students. Our goal is to promote their results so they can be copied in other places.”

The mission of California Business for Education Excellence ( is to raise student academic achievement and close achievement gaps in California public schools by ensuring every student reaches a minimum of grade level proficiency. This is accomplished by providing a voice to high performing public schools so that all schools can replicate their best practices. Since 1998, CBEE has worked to focus businesses around a common agenda for high performing public schools leading to increased baccalaureate degrees and economic productivity. CBEE serves as the business community’s leading voice in education in California.

“We know from the success of these schools that all schools and all students in California can reach high levels of academic achievement and we can close achievement gaps,” said Kirk Clark, president of CBEE.

For additional program information, visit where you can find a complete list of 2010 Honor Roll winners along with their achievement data.