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April 23, 2020
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JP O'Hare

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State Education Department Identifies 582 Recognition Schools

Schools Recognized as High Achieving and High Progress Under New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act Plan

The State Education Department today identified 582 schools that are high achieving and high progress as Recognition Schools, Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe announced. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, Recognition Schools are those with high academic achievement and strong progress, that also perform acceptably for all subgroups for which they are accountable. This year’s designees represent 13 percent of New York State public schools.

“These are exemplary public schools that demonstrate that all students can achieve at high levels with the right supports and resources,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “Recognition Schools help to ensure equity for all children across New York State. The Regents and I are grateful to all of the teachers and administrators who, in concerted effort with their school communities, are guiding our students toward success.”

“Recognition schools are the highest performing and rapidly improving schools across the state,” Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said. “Recognition Schools across the state demonstrate the relentless commitment of teachers, administrators, staff and parents, without whom this growth would not have been possible.”

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

  • have an accountability status of Good Standing;
  • have a Level 4 for the Combined Composite Performance and Growth indicator for elementary and middle schools or a Level 4 for the Combined Composite Performance and Graduation Rate for high schools for the All Students group;
  • not have a Level 1 for any accountability indicator (English language arts (ELA) and mathematics progress; Chronic Absenteeism; English language Proficiency; College, Career, and Civic Readiness for High Schools) for the All Students group;
  • not have any subgroups that were identified as Potential Targeted Support and Improvement (PTSI) based on 2018-19 school year results; and
  • not have a 2018-19 Participation Rate for ELA or Math for the All Students group that is less than 95%.  If a school did not have enough students to receive a participation rate, the school is still eligible to be identified as a Recognition School.

Each Recognition School will receive a certificate of recognition from the Commissioner. Of the identified schools, 232 are New York City public schools; 313 are public schools in the rest of the state; and 37 are public charter schools, of which 35 are located in New York City. Of these schools, 442 were identified as Recognition Schools last year, and 140 have been newly identified as Recognition Schools for the 2019-20 school year. Below are the counts of Recognition Schools by school type, location, and Need Resource Categories.

Count of Recognition Schools by School Type

Elementary-Middle Schools only


High Schools only


Elementary-Middle and High schools




Recognition Schools by Location - NYC, Rest of State and Charter Schools



Rest of State


Charter Schools




Count of Recognition Schools by Need Resource Category*
School Year 2019-2020
NRC Category Count Percentage

Average Needs






Large City



Low Needs



New York City



Rural High Needs



Urban/Suburban/High Needs






The full 2019-20 Recognition Schools list is available on the State Education Department (SED) website. Further details on the Recognition School Identification Methodology can be found on the Department’s ESSA Accountability Designations website.

ESSA is Equity

The final approved ESSA plan emphasizes fostering equity in education for New York’s students, expands measures for school support and accountability and student success, and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall, as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations.

New York State is committed to ensuring that all students succeed and thrive in school no matter who they are, where they live, where they go to school, or where they come from. The plan includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students, including Multilingual learners/English language learners, immigrant students, migratory youth, students with disabilities, homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent youth, have access to a well-rounded, culturally responsive and sustaining education that supports students’ academic and social-emotional development.

ESSA strategies to foster equity include to: address disparities in training for teachers to help them be effective in the classroom; provide students more access to rigorous high school coursework; make schools equally welcoming environments for all students; increase fiscal transparency in school building spending; and use multiple measures to allow students to demonstrate proficiency in state learning standards.

ESSA also provides states and LEAs with funding to provide additional support to certain groups of students as well as to schools that have been identified for additional support. The plan also ensures that all students receive a culturally responsive and sustaining education that supports their academic and social-emotional development. Additional information on the state’s ESSA plan can be found on NYSED’s website.