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2014 Eligibility Criteria

2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award Eligibility Criteria

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 National Excellence in Urban Award Application is now available.  This year we are awarding four categories of school: elementary (no higher that Grade 6), middle (no higher than Grade 9), high (no lower than Grade 9), and alternative schools.  We will be awarding up to five schools in each category.

One school will be designated as a grand-prize winner in each category and receive a $5,000 award for their school.

All applications must be submitted on or before November 15, 2013.

Download the application here

To apply

  •     save a copy of the application to your computer
  •     fill out the application completely
  •     save your copy of the application to your computer
  •     print and mail to NCUST 6505 Alvarado Rd. Suite 209, San Diego, CA 92120 with your sample lessons DVD(s)
  •     and submit via email to ncust@mail.sdsu.edu

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the NCUST staff.

The 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award Criteria are available in a draft version below.

Questions may be directed by email to ncust@mail.sdsu.edu

or by telephone: 619-594-7905

Watch a recording of our Webinar covering the application process and procedures

Eligibility Criteria

2014 Criteria Applicable to All Schools


1. Urban Location and Low-Income Students: The school must be located in a metropolitan area with a population of 50,000 or more residents. In addition, elementary schools must have at least 60% of their students from low income families; middle schools must have 50% or more low income families; and high schools can have no fewer than 40% low income families.

2. Non-Selective Admissions: The school may not require students to meet academic criteria in order to attain or retain admission. For example, a school that requires students to possess or maintain a minimum grade point average or pass an entrance test would not be eligible for consideration. In contrast, schools that only accept students who have experienced academic difficulty in other school setting will be considered eligible.

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3. High Attendance Rates: The school must have evidence to indicate that the average student attendance rate exceeded 92% for each of the past two academic years.

4. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Data: Schools must submit AYP data for the last two years. Unlike prior years, applicants are not required to meet all AYP criteria. If schools did not meet all AYP criteria, they must specify which AYP criteria were not met.

5. High Rates of Academic Proficiency: Using data from your state education agency, NCUST evaluators will determine the statewide average percentage of students proficient or advanced in each grade level and subject area. If the percentage of students listed in at least half of the grade-level cells for both of the past two years exceeds the statewide percentage of students demonstrating proficiency for the same grade levels and subject areas, the school meets this eligibility requirement. If fewer than half of the grade-level cells are lower than the statewide average, the school does not qualify for this competition. Exception: Alternative schools’ assessment results will be compared with those of other alternative school applicants. Alternative schools must submit their assessment results for both of the past two years; however, they need not meet the criteria specified above.

6. High Rates of Academic Proficiency for Every Racial/Ethnic Group: For every group with more than 20 students, the percentage of students achieving at the proficient and advanced levels must exceed statewide averages for ALL students in at least two subject areas. If one or more demographic groups listed above did not exceed statewide averages in at least two subject areas, the school does not qualify for this award competition. Exception: Alternative schools’ assessment results will be compared with those of other alternative school applicants. Alternative schools must submit their disaggregated assessment results; however, they need not meet the criteria specified above.

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7. Evidence of High Achievement for English Learners and Students with Disabilities: NCUST evaluators will examine the amount of year-to-year growth in English acquisition for English Learners and the percentage of students with disabilities who advanced to a higher level. The evaluators will also compare the state subject-area test data for English learners and students with disabilities with the statewide percentages of all students proficient or above in each subject area. Schools selected as finalists will demonstrate higher levels of performance than schools not selected as finalists.

8. Low Rates of Out-of-School Suspension: If the total number of suspension/expulsion days is greater than the total number of students enrolled, the school does not qualify for this award competition. Exception: Alternative schools’ assessment results will be compared with those of other alternative school applicants. Alternative schools must submit their suspension/expulsion results; however, they need not meet the criteria specified above.

9. Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (STEM): All schools (regardless of program emphasis) should strive to ensure that all students are prepared to excel in post-secondary education and 21st century careers. Therefore, each school must present evidence that their students are developing strong levels of academic success in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. This evidence might include the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency on state assessments in mathematics or science. It might also include the percentage of students participating in or completing rigorous classes/programs designed to build strong knowledge and skills in STEM, the percentage of students participating in extra-curricular activities related to STEM fields, the percentage of students participating in district or state-level competitions related to STEM fields, the performance of students in STEM-related competitions, or other evidence of accomplishment.
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