Created in 2002, the annual prize honors large urban school districts that have shown the greatest gains in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority pupils. Charlotte-Mecklenburg will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for seniors graduating next spring, while the three other finalists in the competition — Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, and Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas — will each receive $150,000; all four school districts have been award finalists in the past.
The Broad Prize selection jury found that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had successfully narrowed ethnic achievement gaps at a rapid pace, boosted the percentage of low-income students performing at high levels, and demonstrated strong college readiness levels among its students.
"By creatively supporting the most challenged schools with dollars and people and by empowering teachers to tailor instruction to student needs, Charlotte-Mecklenburg has produced truly impressive urban student achievement gap closures," said Broad Foundation founder Eli Broad. "We congratulate everyone — teachers, administrators, parents, students and the entire community — involved in the district's success."