LOS ANGELES – The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced Tuesday, April 5, that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is among four school district finalists for the 2011 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual which divvys out $1 million to urban U.S. school districts making the greatest progress in raising student achievement.
The three other finalists include Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade Public Schools, both of Florida, and Ysleta Independent School District of El Paso, Texas.
The prize is the largest education award in the country given to urban school districts that demonstrate the best overall performance and improvement in student achievement, while reducing achievement gaps among poor and minority students.
The winner of the Broad prize will be announced Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., and will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors who graduate in 2012. The three finalist districts will each receive $150,000 in college scholarships, for a total distribution of $1 million in Broad prize scholarships.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg was a finalist for the prize in 2004 and 2010.
Finalists were selected by a review board of 21 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, national education associations, think-tanks and foundations. The board evaluated publicly available academic performance data on each district.
In the 2011 Broad Prize finalist districts, the percent of African-American and Hispanic students performing at the highest achievement levels on state reading and math assessments were among the top third of all districts in their respective states. These districts also made progress in closing academic achievement gaps between minority students and their white peers at the state level, as well as between low- and non-low-income students at the state level. Additionally, in all four finalists districts, Hispanic student participation rate increased on Advanced Placement exams.