The School District of Palm Beach County has won $150,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors as a finalist for the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined philanthropist Eli Broad and retired Adm. Michael G. Mullen, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, at The Museum of Modern Art to announce that the 2012 Broad Prize winner—which was selected by a bipartisan jury of 11 prominent leaders from government, education, business and public service, including two former U.S. secretaries of education—is Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The $1 million Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize is an annual award that honors the four large urban school districts that demonstrate the strongest student achievement and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among low-income and minority students. The 75 largest urban school districts in America are automatically eligible for the award each year.
As a finalist for the award, the School District of Palm Beach County will receive $150,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. The other two finalist districts—the Corona-Norco Unified School District in Southern California and the Houston Independent School District—will each also receive $150,000 in scholarships.
“Teachers, parents, principals and administrators, truly everyone involved in Palm Beach County schools’ success deserves to be applauded today,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation, which sponsors the award. “The progress you have made—empowering teachers, developing effective principals and helping students of all backgrounds reach advanced academic levels and graduate—is what nearly every other large urban school system nationwide is striving for.”
This marks the first time Palm Beach County was a finalist for the award. Miami-Dade’s win comes the fifth time the district was named a finalist for The Broad Prize.
As the nation’s 11th-largest school district, the School District of Palm Beach County has more than 174,000 students—55 percent of whom are low-income and nearly 61 percent of whom are minority. Among the reasons Palm Beach County schools stood out among the 75 largest urban school districts in America:
- A greater percentage of Hispanic students reached advanced academic levels in Palm Beach County than in other urban districts—and at faster rates. In 2011, the percentage of Palm Beach County’s Hispanic students performing at the highest achievement levels (Levels 4 and 5) ranked in the top 30 percent statewide compared to Hispanic students in other Florida districts. This was the case in science at all school levels (elementary, middle, high school) and in middle and high school reading and math. Between 2008 and 2011, Palm Beach County also was more successful than at least 70 percent of Florida districts at increasing the percentage of Hispanic students who performed at the highest achievement levels. This was the case in middle and high school reading, math and science. For example, the percentage of Hispanic students performing at the highest achievement levels increased by 9 percentage points in middle school science, while the average increase for other Florida districts was just 4 percentage points during that period.
- Higher graduation rate than other urban districts, and bigger increases over time for black and Hispanic students. Palm Beach County’s 2009 graduation rate—74 percent, as shown by the average of three nationally recognized graduation rate estimation methods—ranked in the top 20 percent of all 75 Broad-Prize eligible districts. In addition, between 2006 and 2009, Palm Beach County’s black student graduation rate increased 21 percentage points, Hispanic student graduation rate increased 13 percentage points, and the district’s overall graduation rate increased 18 percentage points.
- A greater increase in the percentage of black student participation in college readiness exams in Palm Beach County than in other urban districts. Between 2008 and 2011, participation rates on Advanced Placement exams by black students in Palm Beach County increased 8 percentage points. An approximate 3 percentage point increase on average per year, this improvement rate ranked in the top 10 percent of all eligible districts.
For a full electronic press kit, including details on policies and practices that distinguished Palm Beach County from other large urban districts, please visit www.broadprize.org.
The 11-member selection jury that chose this year’s winner included:
- Henry Cisneros, former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development
- Christopher Dodd, former U.S. senator from Connecticut
- Donald Graham, chairman and CEO of the Washington Post Company
- James Hunt, Jr., former governor of North Carolina
- Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund
- Edward Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania
- Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state
- Richard Riley, former U.S. secretary of education
- Margaret Spellings, former U.S. secretary of education
- Andrew Stern, president emeritus of Service Employees International Union
- Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman and editor of U.S. News & World Report
The selection jury evaluated quantitative data on the finalists that consisted of publicly available student performance data compiled and analyzed by MPR Associates, Inc., a leading national education research consulting firm. In addition, the jury evaluated the four finalist districts’ policies and practices, compiled following site visits conducted by a team of education practitioners led by RMC Research Corporation, an education consulting company. The site visits included classroom observations and interviews with administrators, teachers, principals, parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives.
The 2012 finalists were selected this past spring by a review board of 13 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, education associations, think-tanks and foundations that evaluated publicly available student performance data.
As a finalist for the 2012 Broad Prize, the School District of Palm Beach County will receive $150,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors who graduate in 2013. Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and who have improved their grades during high school. Scholarship recipients who enroll in four-year colleges will receive up to $20,000 paid out over four years ($5,000 per year). Broad Prize scholars who enroll in two-year colleges will receive up to $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year). For more information on the scholarship program, please visit http://broadprize.org/scholarship_program/overview.html.
Founded by self-made entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, please visit www.broadeducation.org.
Note: An archived webcast of the event can be viewed at www.broadprize.org. Photos of the event are available at http://broadprize.org/mediacenter/photos/2012.html .