The U.S. Department of Education today announced the 2014 President's Education Awards Program (PEAP) recipients, honoring nearly 3 million students from more than 31,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The list of schools also includes 96 U.S. Department of Defense Schools in countries such as Japan, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
Each year K-12 students from across the country are recognized by President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for their educational excellence and academic growth. The award includes a congratulatory letter and certificate signed by the President, the Secretary and the school principal.
"The President's Education Award Program recognizes achievement and hard work in the classroom while encouraging students to reach even higher," Secretary Duncan said. "It honors students who meet high standards of academic excellence, while also rewarding students who have overcome tough obstacles to their learning."
The program has two categories that honor students graduating from elementary, middle or high schools:
Award for Educational Excellence recognizes students' academic success in the classroom based on grade point average or school-specific criteria and standards, such as high motivation, initiative, integrity, intellectual depth, leadership qualities, and exceptional judgment; plus high scores on nationally normed achievement or state tests or recommendations from a teacher plus one other staff member.
Award for Outstanding Educational Achievement recognizes students' hard work, often in the face of special obstacles to their learning. A school's principal determines this award based on criteria developed at the school, such as showing outstanding growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in particular subjects; demonstrating achievement in the arts; and demonstrating unusual commitment to learning in academics despite various obstacles.
The school's principal is the final authority on which students receive awards and determines the number of qualifying students based on eligibility and selection requirements found here. There is no limit on the number of awards, as long as students meet the criteria for each award.
Since 1983, PEAP has provided individual recognition from the President and the U.S. Secretary of Education, in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.