Swati Pandey, 310-954-5049, firstname.lastname@example.org
Noble Network Named Top Public Charter School System in America as Winner of 2015 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, Receives $250,000 Award
NEW ORLEANS, June 22, 2015—Noble Network of Charter Schools, which operates 17 schools in Chicago, was named the best-performing large public charter school system in America as the winner of the 2015 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today at the National Charter Schools Conference. As the winner, Noble Network will receive $250,000 to advance their efforts to send students to and through college.
The $250,000 Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award that honors the large public charter school system serving low-income students and students of color that has the best overall performance in the country.
Noble Network is a growing system of secondary schools in Illinois that serves 10,000 students who attend 16 high schools and one middle school. Noble’s students are 95 percent African-American or Hispanic, and 89 percent are low-income. In 2014, Noble consistently ranked among the top- performing public school systems in Illinois, especially for African-American, Hispanic and low-income students.
Additionally, Noble’s four-year cohort graduation rate was significantly higher than the state average.
A 10-member review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from around the country evaluated publicly available student performance and college- readiness data for 20 of the country’s largest public charter management systems. They selected the top three charter systems—Achievement First, IDEA Public Schools and Noble Network—and chose Noble as the winner of the 2015 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. The review board noted Noble’s ability to achieve strong high school student outcomes at scale. The Broad Foundation, which funds the prize, did not play a role in selecting the winning charter system.
“Noble is exceptional because they operate almost entirely high schools, which are often the toughest grades to advance academically at high levels,” said Paul Pastorek, a member of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools review board and the former Louisiana state superintendent of education, who announced the winner before an audience of more than 3,000 charter school representatives from around the country. “Noble is clearly on to something because they’ve been able to scale and sustain their academic achievement. They have demonstrated that all students have the ability to perform at college- ready levels.”
Founded in 1999 on the principles of strong leadership, meaningful use of data and a high degree of accountability, Noble focuses on sending all students to college. With longer class periods, a longer school day and a longer school year, Noble provides students with substantially more instructional time than traditional Chicago public high schools. In addition to extra time, Noble’s approach includes a consistent school culture of high expectations, the use of student-level data to drive instruction, and a focus on attracting and retaining the top teaching talent.
Among the reasons Noble Network won the 2015 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools:
- In a comparison of proficiency rates of low-income students in public school districts in Illinois, Noble ranked in the top 30 percent in reading and math.
- In a comparison of proficiency rates of African-American students in public school districts in Illinois, Noble ranked in the top 30 percent in reading, math and science.
- In a comparison of proficiency rates of Hispanic students in public school districts in Illinois, Noble ranked in the top 30 percent in reading, math and science.
- Graduation rates for all students overall and for low-income, African-American, and Hispanic subgroups exceeded the Illinois average for those groups in 2013. For example, 87 percent of Noble’s African-American ninth-graders graduate from high school in four years compared to 71 percent in Illinois, and 88 percent of Noble’s low-income ninth-graders graduate from high school in four years compared to 73 percent in Illinois.
- In 2014, 100 percent of Noble Network’s seniors participated in the ACT exam and earned an average ACT score of 20.3. Statewide, 50 percent of students are low-income, while Noble’s student population is 89 percent low-income. The average statewide ACT score was 20.7.
“Noble is a leading example of a public high school that empowers students and prepares them for a solid college career. This year, Noble had the largest class of graduating seniors—1,500 students from 10 campuses, most of whom are minorities and from low-income communities. A majority of these students will be the first in their family to attend college. That’s a huge success,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Public charter schools all across the nation can learn from Noble—their ability to serve students of all backgrounds along with strengthening academic potential and giving students the tools to be successful. We are very proud of Noble and its work to build an impactful system of education.”
Non-profit charter management organizations eligible for the 2015 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools operated a minimum of five schools since the 2010-11 school year, serving at least 2,500 students and sizeable percentages of low-income students and students of color. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For a list of eligible CMOs, visit http://www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools/eligible.html.
In selecting the 2015 winner, the review board examined data from the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, collected and analyzed by RTI International, a leading global research institute. The review board considered student outcomes, college-readiness indicators, scalability, size, poverty and demographics.
The winner receives $250,000 for college-readiness efforts. Previous winners of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools are KIPP Schools in 2014, Uncommon Schools in 2013 and YES Prep Public Schools in 2012. Winners are ineligible for three years following their win.
Founded by 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, visit www.broadeducation.org.
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