The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools and Texas Classrooms that are models of academic success. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a national recognition program established by the Education Department in 1982 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The Program was redesigned in 2002 under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to reflect the program’s high standards and accountability. The program encourages states to nominate public elementary or secondary schools that are either academically superior or demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools that are meeting the NCLB’s mission to “ensure every child learns, and no child is left behind.” The No Child Left Behind Act is the bipartisan landmark education reform law designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility to states, giving parents more options and teaching students based on what works. Under the law's strong accountability provisions, states must describe how they will close the achievement gap and make sure all students, including those with disabilities, achieve academically. Thanks to such programs, students in Texas Classrooms continue to be held to ever-increasing accountability standards through more rigorous curriculum and graduation requirements, and implementation of a new, tougher statewide assessment test, including the provision that third-grade students must pass the test, along with their coursework, to be promoted. In the future, additional grades will be required to pass the test, along with coursework, to be promoted to the next grade.