WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Maine schools are among 304 schools that U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recognized today as 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Kennebunkport Consolidated School was honored in the category that recognizes each state’s highest performing schools.

The James F. Doughty School in Bangor was honored in the category of improving schools where at least 40 percent of students are disadvantaged and performance on annual assessment tests has improved to high levels.

The schools – 254 public and 50 private –  will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C.  In the past 28 years, more than 6,000 of America’s schools have received this coveted award.

“Our nation has a responsibility to help all children realize their full potential,” Duncan said.  “Schools honored with the Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to achievement and to ensuring that students learn and succeed. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and must receive a quality education.”

A total of 413 schools nationwide can be nominated each year, based on the number of K-12 students and the number of schools in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The chief state school officer nominates public schools, and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) submits private schools’ nominations.  The schools are invited by the secretary of education to submit an application for possible recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.