How we did this story


USA TODAY built a database using public school directory files from the National Center for Education Statistics comparing informatio­n from the 2019-20 school year with the 2021-22 school year, the most recent year for which school name data is available. It analyzed thousands of rows of data to distill which schools’ names had changed. Reporters then combed through each entry to discern the reasons for the change and, through original reporting and a review of local news publicatio­ns, put together a picture of what happened in each case.

The NCES data is current as of December 2021, meaning schools renamed in 2022 were excluded from this database. There were instances where school boards approved name changes, but the new official name had not yet been submitted to the NCES; these changes were excluded. Name changes that weren’t the result of controvers­y were also removed.

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