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. We celebrate the efforts of schools across the country making significant improvements. The program acknowledged the success of hundreds of schools in one of three 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
• Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homelessness, migrant, English learners, etc.)
Title I is the cornerstone of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—it is the largest federally funded pre-college education program in the United States. Together with other federal education programs of the ESEA—which are jointly focused on student equity and access—they provide funding to school districts to aid primarily in the education of economically disadvantaged students.
NAESPA implemented the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program to highlight selected schools that have effectively used their ESEA federal funds to improve education outcomes for students. More information about all National ESEA Distinguished Schools is available on the NAESPA website: www.ESEAnetwork.org
The 2020 National ESEA Distinguished Schools will be honored February 8-11, 2021 at the virtual 2021 National ESEA Conference. Download List of 2020 Schools. (States not listed did not participate in 2020.)