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Washington award follows better test scores

Changing school culture - and incorporating more of the local Ojibwe culture - has paid off for Cloquet's Washington Elementary School, in test scores, recognition and especially the well-being of its American Indian students.

Washington principal Robbi Mondati recently learned the school has been designated a National ESEA Distinguished School, an unexpected honor promoted by better test scores.

ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, aims to close the skill gap between students. The national program recognizes schools for three categories: exceptional student performance, closing t...