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$1 Million Broad Prize for Urban Education Awarded to Boston Public Schools, Four Finalist Districts.

NEW YORK -- The Broad Foundation announced today that Boston Public Schools is the winner of the 2006 Broad Prize for Urban Education, the largest education prize in the country. Boston has been a finalist for The Broad Prize for the past four years, and this year's top honor brings the district's five-year winnings to $1 million.

Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation, was joined at the announcement by two former U.S. secretaries of education, Roderick Paige and Richard W. Riley, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Former President William Jefferson Clinton delivered the keynote address at a celebratory Broad Prize luncheon following the announcement.

The $1 million Broad (pronounced "brode") Prize is an annual award that honors large urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority students. The money goes directly to graduating high school seniors for college scholarships.

"Boston Public Schools is leading the way to keep America the most innovative country in the world by preparing today's urban children with the skills to succeed in tomorrow's jobs," said Paige, a member of The Broad Prize Selection Jury. "Through winning The Broad Prize, truly the Nobel Prize in education, Boston Public Schools has proven that all students can succeed, regardless of their race, background, or zip code."

As the winner of The Broad Prize, Boston Public Schools will receive $500,000 in college scholarships, and the four finalists -- Bridgeport Public Schools, Jersey City Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the New York City Department of Education -- will each receive $125,000. This is New York City's second year as a finalist. Bridgeport, Jersey City and Miami-Dade are all first-time finalists.

"While so many large urban school districts across the country struggle to make gains in student achievement, and some even fall behind, Boston Public Schools has consistently shown that stable leadership in the school district and the city, as well as data-driven teaching, leads to strong student performance," said Broad. "While it is discouraging that there is not more success in this country's public school systems, other large urban districts can learn from Boston's sustained progress."

Among the reasons Boston Public Schools stood out among large urban school districts:

--Each school year from 2002 through 2005, using The Broad Prize methodology, Boston consistently outperformed other Massachusetts districts with similar low-income populations in six out of six areas (elementary, middle and high school, reading and math).

--Boston demonstrated greater improvement by African-American students compared to similar districts in the state in five out of six areas (math at all levels, elementary, middle and high school, and reading at the middle and high school levels).

--On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), Boston's fourth and eighth grade reading and math scores improved at a faster rate than other large American cities on average, as well as faster than the national average.

--Boston saw a stark increase in the number of Advanced Placement mathematics and English exams taken by Hispanic and African-American students, up 237 percent and 78 percent, respectively, since 2002.

For the full electronic press kit, including more details on why Boston Public Schools stood out among large urban districts, as well as details on the finalist districts, visit

The Broad Prize was started in 2002. The inaugural winner was Houston Independent School District, followed by Long Beach Unified School District in 2003, Garden Grove Unified School District in 2004, and Norfolk Public Schools last year.

This year, 100 of the largest urban school districts nationwide were eligible for The Broad Prize. The five finalists were selected by a board of 16 prominent education leaders, after a rigorous review of data compiled and analyzed by the National Center for Educational Accountability. A site visit committee then visited each finalist district and interviewed administrators, teachers, principals, parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives and made classroom observations. A selection jury of eight prominent national leaders from government, business, industry, education and public service then reviewed the data and site visit reports and selected the winner. This year's selection jury included:

--Henry G. Cisneros, chairman and chief executive officer of CityView America and former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development

--John Engler, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and former governor of Michigan

--Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., former chairman and chief executive officer of IBM Corporation

--James B. Hunt, Jr., former governor of North Carolina

--Roderick Paige, former U.S. secretary of education

--Hugh Price, former president and chief executive officer, National Urban League

--Richard W. Riley, former U.S. secretary of education and former governor of South Carolina

--Andrew L. Stern, international president of Service Employees International Union

The Broad Foundation is a Los Angeles-based venture philanthropic organization established in 1999 by Eli and Edythe Broad. Eli Broad, who founded two Fortune 500 companies over a five-decade business career (KB Home and SunAmerica), created The Broad Foundation to dramatically improve student achievement in urban public schools through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. The Broad Foundation's Internet address is
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 19, 2006
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