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2012 Broad Prize Awarded to Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Florida District Wins $550,000 in College Scholarships for Students, Three Finalist Districts Each Win $150,000

NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2012—The winner of the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education is five-time finalist Miami-Dade County Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today. As the winner of the award that recognizes the large urban school district making the greatest progress in the country in raising student achievement, Miami- Dade will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. Three finalist districts in Corona- Norco, Houston and Palm Beach will each receive $150,000 in scholarships.

Mary 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 the winner, which was selected by a bipartisan jury of 11 prominent leaders from government, business and public service, including two former U.S. secretaries of education.

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.

“To give every child a fair shot at the American dream, big-city school systems must deliver an education that prepares young people for college and careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “I commend the entire Miami-Dade community for establishing a district-wide culture of results that empowers teachers and students, puts more resources into helping children in the lowest-performing schools, and is helping narrow the opportunity gap.”

The other three finalists—Corona-Norco Unified School District in Southern California, Houston Independent School District and The School District of Palm Beach County in Florida—will each receive $150,000 in college scholarships. This marks the first time Corona-Norco and Palm Beach County were finalists and a return for Houston, which won the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002.

Miami-Dade’s win comes the fifth time the district was named a finalist for The Broad Prize, bringing the district’s total prize winnings to $1.2 million in college scholarships for its students since 2006. The district was previously a finalist in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.

“What is encouraging about Miami-Dade is its sustainable improvement over time,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which awards The Broad Prize. “Their gains are a testament to the hard-working teachers, administrators and parents who have embraced innovative new methods to modernize schools and ensure that students of all backgrounds get the support they need. There is still a long way to go before all American students graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in a global economy, but Miami-Dade’s progress serves as an example for other urban districts across the country.”

As the nation’s fourth-largest school district, Miami-Dade has nearly 350,000 students—90 percent of whom are black or Hispanic and 74 percent of whom are low-income. Among the reasons Miami-Dade stands out among the 75 largest urban school districts in America:

Outperformed peer districts in academic achievement. In 2011, Miami-Dade’s students outperformed their peers in districts in Florida in all comparisons at all school levels—elementary, middle and high school, and across all subjects—reading, math and science. By contrast, students in other Broad Prize-eligible districts outperformed students in peer districts in their respective states in only 41 percent of comparisons.

Minority students reached advanced academic levels. In 2011, the percentage of Miami-Dade’s Hispanic students performing at the highest achievement levels—Levels 4 and 5 on state exams—ranked in the top 30 percent statewide. These students outperformed their peers across the state in reading and math at all school levels and in elementary and middle school science. Miami-Dade also ranked in the top 30 percent statewide at increasing the percentage of black students who performed at the highest achievement levels in elementary and high school reading, math and science.

Improved college-readiness levels. Participation and scores on the SAT exam increased simultaneously for Miami-Dade’s students overall. For example, SAT participation by Hispanic students increased 6 percentage points and scores increased 15 SAT score points between 2008 and 2011. In addition, the 2011 ACT and AP participation rates for all students, and black and Hispanic students ranked in the top 30 percent of Broad Prize-eligible districts.

Raised graduation rates for minority students. Graduation rates in Miami-Dade for Hispanic and black students outpaced those in other large urban school districts. As shown by the average of three nationally recognized graduation rate estimation methods, the graduation rate in Miami-Dade of both student groups from 2006 to 2009 increased 14 percentage points, or more than 4 percentage points per year on average, to 57 percent for black students and 68 percent for Hispanic students. In comparison, graduation rates of other large urban school districts increased 2 percentage points per year on average during the same period.

For a full electronic press kit, including additional student outcomes, policies and practices that distinguished Miami-Dade, as well as for details on all of the finalists, please visit

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 the winner of the 2012 Broad Prize, Miami-Dade will receive $550,000 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

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

Note: An archived webcast of the event will be accessible today after 3 p.m. ET at Photos of the event will be available on after 4 p.m. ET today.

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