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May 13, 2016
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


Commissioner Identifies 220 High Achieving and High Progress Schools as Reward Schools

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia today identified 220 high achieving and high progress schools as Reward Schools.  The Commissioner’s action was taken in accordance with New York State’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver approved by the United States Department of Education.  110 of the schools identified today are New York City public schools, 99 are public schools located in the rest of the State and 11 are public charter schools. Of the 220 identified schools, 154 of them were identified as Reward Schools last year, and 121 have been identified for three consecutive years as Reward Schools.

Reward Schools are schools that either have high academic achievement or have made the most progress in the State and do not have significant gaps in student achievement between subgroups.

To be identified as a Reward School, a school must:

  • Be among the top twenty percent of schools in the state for English language arts (ELA) and math performance for both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years or be among the top ten percent of schools in terms of gains in ELA and math performance in the 2014-15 school year.
  • Have made Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years for all groups of students on all measures for which the school is accountable, including the requirement that 95 percent of all groups participate in the English language arts and mathematics assessments.
  • Not have unacceptably large gaps in student performance on an accountability measure between students who are members of an accountability group (e.g., low-income students) and students who are not members of that group.

In addition, elementary and middle schools must demonstrate that more than 50 percent of students are making annual growth in ELA and math; and that more than 50 percent of the school’s lowest achieving students are also making gains.  High schools must have graduation rates above 80 percent to be a high achieving school and above 60 percent to be a high progress school, also the percentage of students in the school who graduate with a Regents diploma with advanced designation or a Career and Technical Endorsement (CTE) must exceed the State average.  Additionally, high schools must demonstrate that their graduation rate for students who entered the school performing below proficient in ELA or math exceeds the State average.

For more details on the Reward School identification methodology, please visit:

The Reward Schools list is available on the State Education Department (SED) website at:

Each Reward School will receive a certificate of recognition from the Commissioner, and Title I schools may be eligible for a Reward School grant.