The National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA)—formerly the National Title I Association—has been selecting examples of superior, federally funded school programs for national recognition through the National ESEA Distinguished Schools program (recently renamed from its predecessor, the National Title I Distinguished Schools program) since 1996. These schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community. What makes National ESEA Distinguished Schools’ stories especially powerful are the documented student achievement gains that have resulted from their collaborative and targeted efforts and innovations.
Schools are selected by their State Education Agency and must qualify under one of the following categories:
Category 1: Exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years
Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years