New York

Gowanus School Named National Blue Ribbon School

Let’s hear it for Gowanus. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has recently named P.S. 172 Beacon School of Excellence in Gowanus, Brooklyn as a Blue Ribbon recipient. The Blue Ribbon School rating recognizes the students’ academic achievements. This program honors both public and private schools that are high performing or that have shown a drastic improvement in student achievements.

High Scoring School

P.S. 172 received the recognition by scoring higher than 93% of all other New York City schools on the state’s standardized tests. This, even though the school has a high level of financial need with 88% of the students eligible for free school lunches.

Impressive Achievements

The New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said,

“I want to congratulate the students, teachers, principals and parents at these five schools for all of their hard work and dedication in ensuring their students are making strong academic progress and are on track to graduate college or career ready.”

(The other New York City schools that received the honor were P.S. 48 William G. Wilcox in Staten Island; and P.S. 130, P.S. 159 and P.S. 173 Fresh Meadows, all in Queens.)

To put the award into a national context, the U.S. Department of Education named a total of 305 schools across the nation that it deemed as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools. 256 of them were public schools, like ours in Gowanus, and 49 were private. On November 14th-15th, these schools will be honored at the National Blue Ribbon School awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)