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DSST Public Schools Wins 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

Colorado charter school network awarded $250,000 for demonstrating outstanding college-readiness outcomes among low-income students and students of color

Announcement kicks off the 2018 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C.

Austin, Texas, June 18, 2018—DSST Public Schools (DSST) is the winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools announced today at the National Charter Schools Conference. The Broad Prize awards $250,000 to the large public charter school system that has demonstrated the best overall academic performance while closing achievement gaps and serving low-income students and students of color. The prize winnings must be used for college-readiness efforts.

“On behalf of the 4,500 charter school educators and advocates with me at the 2018 National Charter Schools Conference, I offer DSST Public Schools a well-deserved round of applause for winning the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “DSST Public Schools leaders, teachers and families should feel proud of the hard work they do together to ensure brighter futures for Denver’s kids.”

DSST Public Schools operates 13 secondary schools that serve 5,300 students in Denver, Colorado, 66 percent of whom receive free and reduced-price lunch and 81 percent of whom are students of color. The 10-member Broad Prize review board—including prominent education researchers, policy leaders and practitioners from around the country—chose DSST based on the charter network’s strong academic outcomes. Specifically, the review board noted that for the past 10 consecutive years, 100 percent of DSST graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges or universities, and in 2016-17, on average, DSST students exceeded the ACT college readiness benchmark across all available demographic groups. The review board also cited DSST’s status as a “diverse-by-design” network as creating an engaging environment for students who reflect the communities in which their schools are located.

“DSST is a great example of the much-desired and elusive combination:  a network that ensures outstanding results for all types of students while growing to serve more students,” said Macke Raymond, director of CREDO at Stanford University and a review board member. “They have cracked the code for success.”

DSST was one of three finalists—along with Achievement First and Uncommon Schools—selected by the review board. This marked the fourth year Achievement First was nominated and the first time a previous winner, Uncommon, was nominated. DSST was also a finalist last year—the first year the network was eligible.

Non-profit charter management organizations (CMOs) eligible for the 2018 award operated a minimum of five schools since 2015-16 with at least 2,500 students while serving sizable percentages of low-income students and students of color. CMO data was analyzed by the American Institutes for Research. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. The National Alliance, which administers the prize, and The Broad Foundation, which funds the prize, did not play a role in selecting the top three CMOs or the 2018 Broad Prize winner.

Previous winners of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools include Success Academy in 2017, IDEA Public Schools in 2016, Noble Network of Charter Schools in 2015, KIPP Schools in 2014, Uncommon Schools in 2013 and YES Prep Public Schools in 2012. Winners are ineligible for three years following their win.

About The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation works to advance the public good in education, science and the arts. The Foundation has created groundbreaking independent institutions in each of its three grantmaking areas, including The Broad Center, which develops leaders to help transform America’s urban public schools, the Broad Institute, a global leader in genomics, and The Broad, a museum in downtown Los Angeles devoted to showcasing great contemporary art.  For more information, visit

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit


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