The National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) named two Kentucky schools as National ESEA Distinguished Schools during its national conference on Feb. 1-4. The two are among 55 schools nationwide to receive the honor.
W.E.B. DuBois Academy (Jefferson County) was recognized for closing the achievement gap between student groups. Nicholas County Elementary School was recognized for excellence in serving special populations of students, such as homeless, migrant and English learners.
Formerly the National Title I Association, NAESPA is dedicated to building the capacity of education professionals to provide disadvantaged children with a high-quality education. NAESPA implemented the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program to highlight schools that have effectively used their federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) funds to improve education outcomes for students.
The program has annually acknowledged the success of schools in one of three categories:
- Category 1: Exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years;
- Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years; and
- Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students, such as homeless, migrant or English learners.
Title I is the cornerstone of the ESEA and 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.