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Broad Foundation Selects 2012 Broad Prize Finalists

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, a philanthropic organization to improve urban education, has selected the 2012 finalists for the Broad Prize for Urban Education, a $1 million competition aimed at improving student achievement in urban school districts.

Set up in 2002, the prize honors districts in urban areas in recognition of overall performance and improvement in student achievement, and particularly for reducing the achievement gap for low-income students and minorities.

The 2012 finalists include:

The 2012 winner will be named on Tuesday, October 23 in New York City during a ceremony at the Museum of Modern Art, where the top prize of $550,000 in scholarships will be awarded for seniors at the high school level who will graduate in 2013.

Each of the other districts will receive $150,000 in scholarships for a total distribution of $1 million.

“Urban school districts across this country have much more work to do to help students of all backgrounds thrive academically,” said Eli Broad, founder of the Broad Foundation. “These four school districts can be proud that they are paving the way by demonstrating that students of all backgrounds can achieve if they are given equal opportunities to learn.”

Strong gains in minority achievement for African-American and Hispanic students were noted among the four finalists.

Assessments such as the ACT and SAT, advanced placement participation rates, state assessments, graduation rates, and per pupil expenditures are among the data considered in selecting the finalists.

A review board composed of 13 policy leaders, education researchers, civil rights leaders, university representatives, and others selected the finalists. The Broad Foundation itself does not take part in selecting the finalists or the winner.

Information evaluated by the review board is from publicly available sources and is compiled and then analyzed by MPR Associates, a consulting firm.

School districts are not eligible to apply for the prize, nor can they be nominated, but 75 of the largest urban school districts nationally are automatically eligible.

Previous winners of the prize, with their date of award, include:

Each district will be visited for four days by researchers, led by representatives of RMC Research, a consulting firm, who will meet with administrators, teachers, parents, school board members, and community leaders to assess each finalist based on a rubric.

The winning district will be chosen by a selection jury based on the results of the site visits and student achievement data.

More information about the award is available at broadprize.org.

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