Our intense focus on achievement gaps needs to be combined with an equally intense focus on closing opportunity gaps through evidence-based

approaches for increasing schools’ capacity.  —Kevin Welner


The National Education Policy Center seeks to identify and recognize excellent public high schools that actively strive to close opportunity gaps by engaging in practices that build on students’ strengths, thereby creating engaging and supported learning opportunities for all their students.


The Schools of Opportunity that we recognize will serve as models, informing and inspiring the efforts of educators and communities throughout the US to become high schools that promote both excellence and equity.


We are inviting you to nominate your school. The application is open to any school serving at least grades 10 through 12. All schools are encouraged to apply, and we strongly encourage applications from schools serving communities of color and communities with higher rates of poverty. Click here to view a video about applying for the Schools of Opportunity Recognition Program.


As we begin this new project, we look forward to working with interested principals and teachers. The application process is designed to allow you to explain how and why your school should be recognized, and we will provide any assistance needed to help nominators easily complete and submit their information. We are working with media, communications experts, and other national organizations to ensure that recognized schools and their practices receive the public attention they deserve. Valerie Strauss’s Washington Post column will recognize Schools of Opportunity much as Jay Mathews has done with his “Challenge Index” schools list.


Please do not hesitate to contact us at opportunity@colorado.edu at any point throughout the process with questions or requests for assistance. The application deadline is February 3, 2016.

The Schools of Opportunity project is funded by the Ford Foundation and the NEA Foundation.

The Schools of Opportunity are recognized in The Washington Post,

on Valerie Strauss’s The Answer Sheet blog.



If your high school is recognized, display a Schools of Opportunity badge on your website.



National Education Policy Center

School of Education

University of Colorado

Boulder, CO 80309-0249



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