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August 19, 2014
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


Commissioner Identifies 354 Reward Schools under the ESEA Flexibility Waiver

New York State Commissioner John B. King, Jr. has identified 354 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 in May 2012.

Reward Schools are either schools that have high achievement or schools that 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 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years or be among the top ten percent of schools in terms of gains in ELA and math performance in the 2012-13 school year.
  • Have made Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years for all groups of students on all measures for which the school is accountable, including the requirement that 95% of all groups participate in the English language arts and mathematics assessments.
  • Not have unacceptably large gaps in the 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 students are making annual growth in ELA and math that exceeds the State average and that the school’s lowest achieving students are also making gains that exceed the State average,  High schools must have graduation rates of at least 80% to be a high achieving school and 60% to be a high progress school and 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.  High schools must also 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. Title I Rewards Schools that have been identified as Reward Schools based on both 2011-12 and 2012-13 school year results are eligible to apply for a Reward School grant, if the school is not currently receiving this grant. More information on these grants will be made available at a later date.

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