You are here

High Growth Title I Schools

The central objective of Title I, Part A is to ensure that all children reach challenging academic content standards, specifically in reading and math. The program provides supplemental resources to schools and students who have furthest to go in achieving these standards. Over the years, many researchers have analyzed the effectiveness of Title IA on improving student academic performance. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has been conducting its own evaluation of Title IA programs in the state.

In 2009-2010, CDE in collaboration with an external evaluation firm, OMNI Institute, studied the relationship between the amount of Title I funds distributed to schools and student performance. Title I per pupil allocation amounts were compared against the schools’ median growth percentile, a metric that represents the academic growth of students on the state assessments in comparison to students’ academic peers (students with similar performance histories on the state assessment). Although the study supported that on average schools with higher amounts of per pupil allocation tended to have higher median growth percentiles, there were also some schools with high growth percentiles with low per pupil amounts and vice versa (low growth schools with high per pupil allocations).

As a follow up study, CDE initiated a related analysis of Title I schools in Colorado that had achieved high growth with their lowest performing students in 2010-2011, regardless of Title I funding amounts in prior years. The common themes, practices, and strategies used in these schools were analyzed and studied.

After identifying these high growth Title I schools, CDE conducted a project to ascertain some of the key practices that are contributing to each school’s success. Selected schools were provided the opportunity to participate in an Effective School Practices (ESP) review - an external, qualitative review of the school focused on nine standards: (1) Curriculum; (2) Classroom Evaluation/Assessment; (3) Instruction; (4) School Culture; (5) Professional Growth, Development, and Evaluation; (6) Student, Family, and Community Support; (7) Leadership; (8) Organizational Structure and Resources; and (9) Comprehensive and Effective Planning. The first three standards represent academic performance within a school. Standards four through six reflect the learning environment and the last three standards the organizational effectiveness of the school.

In analyzing the results from the ESP reviews, several key areas of effective practices stand out among the many efforts that are contributing to the successes in these nine schools. The practices can be categorized into three main areas: leadership, school culture, and best first instruction. For more information regarding each key area, as well as access to individual school reports highlighting those areas, follow the links below:

CDE chose to mask the school names on this website and in all of the documents for the following reasons:

  • Principals at the High Growth Schools were so interested in protecting instruction time that some requested that the identity of the school not be named in any studies.
  • The purpose of this website and all the reports presented is to highlight the effective strategies being used in the schools. The intention is to draw attention to the fact that Title I schools can achieve high growth, regardless of the demographics within the school, as opposed to highlighting specific, successful schools.

Related Information


  • High Growth Title I Schools Study: Summary Report and School-level reports
  • School-level reports:
    • Aerial reports, summarizing implementation of nine standards
    • ESP review reports
    • School briefs
    • School profiles



For a demonstration of this website and recommendations for its use, please contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson:

Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson

send an email