The school I am now working at was just named a Minnesota Reward School! I am so excited to be working in such a great school! The designation of "Reward School" is given to Title I schools that score in the top 15% of the Multiple Measurements Rating. This means that our students have scored well on tests demonstrating exceptional student outcomes. This also means that the school has been successful in closing achievement gaps. There are a number of reasons that schools reach this achievement.
Title I is a federal funding program that provides funding to help provide for academic support for students that may be at risk for any number of reasons. This funding is mostly based on the socio-economic status of the area. Title I funds are used to purchase books for schools, provide trainings, and fund salaries for reading teachers. Title I teachers help the disadvantaged students to succeed. Title I was developed in 1965. These funds certainly help our students to perform better, but there are other factors as well.
Other factors that I believe make a difference in schools includes various specialists carrying on the teaching from the classroom, a supportive curriculum director, lots of staff development, and community involvement.