A project of the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA), the Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes qualifying schools receiving federal funding from each state for their outstanding achievements in education. Only two schools per state are selected each year as National ESEA Distinguished Schools, making this award an especially prestigious honor.

Distinguished Schools Criteria
For a school to qualify for the Distinguished School award, it must meet the following criteria that showcase the success of two eligible 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