The Schools of Opportunity project recently launched their application cycle for 2017. Applications from schools across the nation will be accepted at www.SchoolsofOpportunity.org through May 1. Building on the success of the past two years, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed in the CU Boulder School of Education, will again recognize public high schools that are creating remarkable opportunities to learn for all their students. This project highlights the nation’s best schools and practices, shifting away from the imbalanced focus on standardized test scores.
Schools that apply are asked to demonstrate how they work to close opportunity gaps across a range of key areas. The NEPC derived this set of opportunity measures from the expertise shared by co-authors Kevin Welner and Prudence Carter in Closing the Opportunity Gap, the 2013 book published by Oxford University Press.
Two criteria are required of all applying schools: (1) broadening and enriching learning opportunities and (2) creating and maintaining a healthy school culture. Applicants also select, from a menu of eight additional criteria, four that best represent how their school is responding to its unique local needs. All ten criteria are described on the Schools of Opportunity website, along with the scoring rubric used by the evaluation teams.
Recognized Gold and Silver schools will be announced in winter 2017 in the Washington Post Answer Sheet blog and other media outlets.