In January 2017, ERP will announce its 2016 Honor Roll award recipients. Championed by business leaders, the annual Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and highlight successful practices that improve outcomes for students. It recognizes K-12 schools and school systems that have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. For high schools, the Honor Roll selection criteria also assesses measures of college readiness.
The program is made possible by support from numerous foundations, organizations and businesses including State Farm, Automobile Club of Southern California, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Chevron Corporation.
The Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the Star Schools Award and the Scholar Schools Award. Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time. Scholar Schools are schools that have shown significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population. Also recognized is a subset of the Honor Roll that has both high percentages of low-income students and high levels of math and science achievement. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Honor Roll Schools also receive special recognition of their accomplishments.
Accessible for free on ERP’s website, the Honor Roll search tool enables educators to access data profiles and locations of higher performing schools for benchmarking and goal-setting purposes. More importantly, it identifies schools and districts so that educators and educational leaders can visit them first-hand to learn best practices and improve their own school’s academic achievement outcomes. Educators can also access the STEM Honor Roll which provides critical information and data to improve STEM education, while also raising awareness of the need to improve STEM education to help ensure students can succeed in college and the workforce.
The descriptions of success factors and data corresponding to Honor Roll schools help to dispel the highly prevalent myth that students from disadvantaged and minority neighborhoods can’t achieve the same levels of proficiency as their more advantaged counterparts. Promotion of the Honor Roll program (among multiple audiences including the media, community organizations, minority advocates and parents) centers on replicating successful educational practices and provides hope and direction for students, teachers, and educational leaders nationwide.
The Honor Roll program was launched in California in 2004, sponsored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE). Since its inception, the number of California schools that meet the Honor Roll criteria has grown from 200 to nearly 2,000. In 2015, the program was launched in Texas by ERP in collaboration with the Institute for Productivity in Education, with support from the Texas Business Leadership Council. More than 700 Texas schools were awarded in 2015. Even larger numbers are anticipated when the 2016 Honor Roll is announced in January 2017. Awarded schools and school systems are given free banners to display as a testament to the hard work of their staff and students, and their accomplishments are touted in local and social media.