Ohio Department of Education Topic News

New Schools of Honor Program Expands Recognition to Schools Making Significant Gains Despite Challenges


COLUMBUS – Through Ohio’s new Schools of Honor program, the Ohio Department of Education is recognizing 90 schools that have sustained high academic achievement and made substantial progress while serving a significant number of economically disadvantaged students. The department is presenting a total of 92 awards: 38 High Performing Schools of Honor and 54 High Progress Schools of Honor. Two schools, Citizens Academy of Cleveland and Youngstown Early College, are receiving both honors.

“These schools are proud examples of what can happen when principals, teachers, parents and community members come together believing that all children can learn,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “Teachers in this year’s 90 Schools of Honor uniformly believe that all children can learn despite the challenges presented by their backgrounds and experiences. What they have done is working. I am urging them to help other Ohio schools learn how they can overcome their challenges as well.”

The Schools of Honor program honors awardees who have maintained or improved student achievement in reading and mathematics and met other performance criteria:

  • High Performing Schools of Honor had over the past five years a 90 percent or better average proficiency for combined reading and mathematics, as well as a 90 percent or better graduation rate. Criteria includes 75 percent or more proficiency for subgroups of 30 or more students who are of various races, are economically disadvantaged, have disabilities or are English language learners.
  • High Progress Schools of Honor score in the top 10 percent of schools as ranked by gains in reading and mathematics combined proficiency in all tested grades across five years. They also are in the top 10 percent for gains in graduation rate across the past five years.

The department also considers Adequate Yearly Progress, Value-Added measures of student growth and Local Report Card ratings when determining award selection.

The Schools of Honor initiative builds upon and expands the department’s existing Schools of Promise program. Of the 164 Schools of Promise identified earlier this year, 44 also are either High Performing or High Progress schools. In all three recognition programs, schools have 40 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. 

The U.S. Department of Education approved the new Schools of Honor program as part of Ohio’s flexibility waiver for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2012. More information about this year’s honorees and the award criteria is available here.