Thurgood Marshall Academy Receives a National Excellence in Urban Education (NEUE) Silver Award

May 29, 2014

Washington, DC – On May 22nd, the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) selected Thurgood Marshall Academy to receive its National Excellence in Urban Education (NEUE) Silver Award, along with a $2,500 grant, in recognition of the school’s success in providing a high quality education for students from low-income and minority communities.

In 2014, Thurgood Marshall Academy was one of 16 schools nationwide, one of only three high schools, and the sole school in Washington, DC to be recognized as a NEUE award winner – which designates finalist schools on a three tiered scale (Gold, Silver, and Bronze). The finalists accepted their awards at the NCUST’s annual Excellence in Urban Education Symposium at a ceremony on May 22, 2014. This year, the 16 finalists for the NEUE awards were drawn from a large pool of applicants that included schools that have received other national accolades such as the National Blue Ribbon Schools or National Title I schools awards.

The NCUST recognizes schools that serve predominantly low-income students, yet demonstrate impressive student performance, including achievement scores, high attendance rates, low suspension rates, and high graduation rates. NCUST selected Thurgood Marshall Academy for the NEUE – Silver Award following a rigorous, three part application process including an initial proposal, an extensive site visit with teacher, student, and parent panels and classroom observations, and a final review by the NCUST’s Executive Team. Throughout this process, the NCUST determined that Thurgood Marshall Academy’s programs – which combine high-quality instruction, engaging out-of-school programs, an effective college access initiative, a robust alumni support program, and a culture that supports high expectations – emerged as a model for high schools nationwide that educate students from urban communities.

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s test scores, graduation rates, and college and graduation attendance rates were used to determine the school’s impact on its students. Since opening its doors in 2001, 100% of all nine cohorts of graduating seniors have been accepted to college, over 90% enroll in college within the first year of high school graduation, and 94% of alumni persist from freshman year to sophomore year in college. Further, in 2013, for the second consecutive year, and for the fourth time in its 12-year history, Thurgood Marshall Academy was the highest performing open-enrollment high school on the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS), the local benchmark examination for all 10th grade students.

NCUST was founded as part of the QUALCOMM Institute for Innovation and Educational Success at San Diego State University. The mission of the NCUST is to help urban school districts and their partners transform schools into institutions where all students achieve academic proficiency, evidence a love of learning, and graduate well-prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, the workplace, and their community.