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School Recognition - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

California School Recognition Program

The California School Recognition Program (CSRP), also known as the Distinguished Schools Program, focuses on California’s students and their entitlement to an equitable and rigorous education. The recognition program awards schools that are in the upper half of the statewide distribution of Academic Performance Index (API) scores; have met API growth targets and federal Adequate Yearly Progress requirements; are narrowing the achievement gap; and are implementing the priorities of state and federal accountability programs. The schools identified serve as models of achievement for other schools. Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years.

For more information on the CSRP, contact Cynthia Henninger, Research Analyst II, Awards Team, by phone at 916-319-0841 or by e-mail at chenning@cde.ca.gov. Additional information is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) School Recognition Program Web page.

National Blue Ribbon Schools Program

Up to 35 schools are nominated annually for the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Blue Ribbon Schools Program. To be eligible for nomination, schools must demonstrate dramatic growth or high achievement. At least one-third of the schools must have a student body composed of 40 percent or more disadvantaged students.

Recruitment priority is given to the current year’s California Distinguished Schools and Title I Academic Achievement Award Schools. Nominees must have met current and previous years’ Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as well as schoolwide and subgroup Academic Performance Index (API) growth targets. Student growth in English-language arts and mathematics must be evident in schools in one of two categories:

Nominated schools are required to submit an application to the ED.

Prior to being named a NCLB Blue Ribbon School, schools must also meet the following year’s AYP and API targets. Award-recipient schools are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the NCLB Blue Ribbon Schools Program, contact the Awards Team, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by e-mail at awards@cde.ca.gov. Additional information is available on the CDE Blue Ribbon Schools Web page.

Academic Achievement Awards Program

The Title I Academic Achievement Awards (AAA) Program annually recognizes high-poverty schools that are demonstrating success in ensuring that all students are making significant progress toward reaching proficiency on California’s academic content standards. These standards define the knowledge, concepts, and skills students are expected to acquire at each grade level. In addition, the awardees provide support and serve as models for other schools, especially other Title I schools that have been identified for Program Improvement.

The criteria to qualify for the award are rigorous. Title I schools must demonstrate the achievement level of double the schoolwide Academic Performance Index (API) growth target, or have a schoolwide API at or above 800, for two consecutive years. In addition, the school must double the API growth target for the socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroup, or the subgroup must be at or above 800, for two consecutive years. In addition, all other numerically significant subgroups in the school must meet their API targets for two years. Finally, schools also must have made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two consecutive years, and at least 40 percent of the enrolled students in each school must meet the poverty index.

The AAA recipient schools receive recognition at an awards ceremony hosted by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

For more information on the AAA Program, please contact the Awards Team, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by e-mail at awards@cde.ca.gov. Additional information is available on the CDE Title I Academic Achievement Awards Web page.

National Title I Distinguished School Awards

Each year, the National Association of State Title I Directors present up to two National Title I Distinguished School Awards per state. The awards go to the state Title I AAA recipient school that has the greatest percentage of students at or above the proficient level for AYP in English-language arts and mathematics and to the Title I AAA recipient school that made the most progress in closing the achievement gap among numerically significant subgroups.

For more information on the National Title I Distinguished School Program, please contact the Awards Team, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by e-mail at awards@cde.ca.gov. Additional information is available on the CDE Title I Academic Achievement Awards Web page.

Questions:   Awards Team | awards@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0842
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