As our nation comes to terms in understanding and one day embracing the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important not to lose sight of the essential mission education has upon our local communities, especially for those students with limited financial and experiential resources. Although learning loss has been a harsh reality for many children during this period of time, we believe some urban schools are achieving outstanding results despite the challenges in the last two plus years. Furthermore, we are concerned that our nation is not doing enough to learn from impressive urban schools and will continue blaming overall student achievement dips to the pandemic for many years to come and thus lose a generation of amazing young minds.
Since 2005, we have been dedicated to identifying, celebrating, and learning from urban schools that achieve multiple evidences of excellent academic results for every racial/ethnic/income group they serve. In August of 2022, applications will be available for the 2023 America’s Best Urban Schools Award. Through this award program, we recognize elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as alternative schools and dual-language schools, in which “typical” students achieve atypical results. The purpose of the award is to recognize the dedication and talent of urban school educators and students, provide a benchmark of excellence that motivates continuous improvement, and deepen the knowledge base of best practices for promoting urban school transformation. The award is given annually to a small number of public schools and public charter schools. This year, we are expanding our reach to include schools in rural and suburban settings. We invite you to encourage schools in your district to review our award criteria and consider applying. More information on the application process will be posted on our website and outlined in our August newsletter.
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