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The Broad Foundation Announces New Annual “Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools” to Recognize Most Outstanding Academic Progress Among Charters

Starting in 2012, winner will receive $250,000 for college readiness efforts

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2011—The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today a new annual award to honor the public charter management organization that has demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement among the country’s largest urban charter management organizations in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority students. The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will mirror The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional school districts.

The winner of the 2012 Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Public Charter Schools—to be announced at the June 2012 National Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis—will receive $250,000 for low-income student college-readiness efforts.

“Public charter schools that are working to provide an equal opportunity for all students to learn have reached a critical mass in this country,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “It is our hope that by highlighting the success of new public school models outside traditional districts, this award will help our nation recognize and learn from effective, innovative models now at scale.”

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools seeks to:

  • Recognize those charter models that show the best academic outcomes, particularly for traditionally disadvantaged students
  • Create an accessible repository of high-quality data on student achievement, policies and practices in the largest urban charter management organizations across the country
  • Showcase the best practices of successful public charter management organizations so that other public charter schools and traditional public schools can learn from their success

Charter management organizations that meet the following criteria will be automatically eligible for this award each year: charter management organizations that have been operating a minimum of five schools for at least four years (yielding multiple years of data) and that serve sizeable percentages of urban, poor and minority students are automatically eligible. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For full eligibility criteria, visit:

The following charter management organizations will be eligible for the award in 2012:

Achievement First (Northeastern U.S.)
Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools (Los Angeles)
America CAN (Texas)
American Quality Schools (Midwest U.S.)
Aspire Public Schools (California)
Baltimore Curriculum Project (Baltimore)
Concept Schools (Midwest U.S.)
Cosmos Foundation Inc. (Texas)
Edvantages (Ohio)
Friendship Public Charter Schools (Washington, D.C.)
Green Dot Public Schools (Los Angeles)
ICEF Public Schools (Los Angeles)
KIPP Foundation (U.S.)
Lighthouse Academies (Washington, D.C., Illinois, Indiana)
Partnership to Uplift Communities (California)
School of Excellence in Education (Texas)
UNO Charter School Network (Illinois, Louisiana)
Uplift Education (Texas)
Winfree Academy Charter Schools, Inc. (Texas)
YES Prep Public Schools (Texas)

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will be similar to the process used for the existing Broad Prize for Urban Education awarded to school districts, but there will be no finalists.

The winner will be selected by a review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, national education associations, think tanks and foundations, many of whom also serve on the existing Broad Prize for Urban Education review board. The Broad Foundation will not play a role in selecting the winner.

The review board will examine publicly available student achievement data since the 2007/2008 school year collected by MPR Associates, an education research and consulting firm, and will select the charter management organization that, in its judgment, showed the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority students. No formula will be used to choose the winner.

Data showing the quantitative basis for the decision will be released when the winner is announced, and data collected and analyzed on organizations eligible for the award will also be posted on

The winner of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will receive $250,000 to apply toward college-readiness efforts for low-income students, such as scholarships, speaker series or campus visits.

After the winner is announced, a team of experienced researchers and practitioners led by RMC Research Corporation, an education consulting company based in Denver, will conduct a site visit to identify practices that supported student achievement performance. The team will analyze organization-wide policies and practices using a transparent, research-based rubric (currently under development and which will be made available in coming months). The foundation will release best practice findings from the site visit.

“By mining best practices, The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools stands to benefit not just the winning organization but also the charter industry—and indeed the entire public education industry—by embodying healthy collaboration and competition among different educational models,” said Ursula Wright, interim CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

For more information about The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, please visit

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national philanthropy established by entrepreneur Eli Broad that invests in the bold and innovative transformation of K-12 urban public education in the U.S. so that students of all backgrounds are academically prepared for college, careers and life. The Broad Foundation supports efforts to put in place working conditions and innovations that empower teachers and students to succeed in the classroom, that attract and retain top talent into the classroom, and that ensure resources reach the classroom. The Broad Foundation’s Internet address is, and foundation updates are available on Twitter.

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