We tend to focus on the bad news when it comes to education, but the designation of nine Louisiana schools as Blue Ribbon institutions by the U.S. Department of Education is a welcome occasion to recognize the good work many educators are doing in cultivating young minds.

The schools are Baton Rouge Magnet High, LSU Laboratory School, St. Aloysius Catholic School and St. James Episcopal School Day School, as well as Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans; Martin Petitjean Elementary School in Rayne; Pointe-Aux-Chenes Elementary in Montegut; South Crowley Elementary School in Crowley; and St. Paul’s School in Covington.

Since 1982, the Department of Education has been giving Blue Ribbon awards each year to a select number of schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program highlights public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps.

The list of all 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools is available on the U. S. Department of Education’s website at www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.

We congratulate these schools on their accomplishment, and we hope that even more Louisiana schools get the Blue Ribbon honor next year.