The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has announced that it is doubling the Broad Prize for Urban Education, already the nation's largest education award, to $2 million. Now six years old, the prize is awarded annually to urban school districts in the United States that have demonstrated the strongest growth in student achievement while narrowing achievement gaps between income and ethnic groups.
With the increase, the winner of the 2008 prize, to be announced in New York City on October 14, will receive $1 million in college scholarships for graduating high school seniors, who in turn will receive $20,000 scholarships if they attend a four-year university ($5,000 a year) or $5,000 scholarships if they attend a two-year college or technical training schools ($2,500 a year). In addition, the four finalist school districts will each receive $250,000 in college scholarships, twice as much as previously awarded. The finalists for this year's prize are the Aldine Independent School District and Brownsville Public Schools, both in Texas; Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, both in Florida; and the Long Beach Unified School District in California.
Besides generating national attention and recognition for the most improved urban school districts in the country and boosting the morale of teachers, principals, students, parents, and entire communities, the prize also showcases best practices, with winners hosting education reformers from the United States and abroad to share what has worked in their districts to improve student achievement.
"We are proud that in just six years, the Broad Prize has created a movement of reform and competition among America's urban school districts," said Eli Broad, founder of the Broad Foundation. "By doubling the Broad Prize — one of the only programs in the country that awards scholarships to students for grade improvement during high school — these students will now have twice as much support to pay for college."