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DSST Public Schools has been named the top public charter network in the country as the winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools.

As the winner, DSST will receive $250,000 to support college-readiness efforts.

The Broad Prize honors the public charter management organization that has demonstrated the best academic outcomes, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color.

First awarded in 2012, The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is designed to recognize the best practices of successful public charter management organizations so that all public school systems can learn from them.

Eligibility

The Broad Foundation set the following rules to ensure that Broad Prize-eligible charter management organizations are comparable to each other in that they operate multiple school sites and serve significant numbers of students—particularly low-income students and students of color.


To be eligible for the 2018 Broad Prize, charter management organizations must have:


  • Five or more schools in operation as of 2015-2016,
  • 2,500 students or more enrolled each year since 2015-2016,
  • At least 40 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch in 2015-2016, and
  • At least 33 percent of students are students of color in 2015-2016.


Although we respect the work of individual charter schools that are making strong student gains, the practical need to collect comparable data makes the inclusion of all charter schools impossible. Organizations that outsource operations to other charter management organizations do not qualify.

Charter organizations that serve entirely special populations are not eligible. Organizations that operate some schools that serve entirely special populations must meet the above eligibility criteria based on the enrollment in their regular schools, and only the student achievement results for their regular schools are included in The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools analysis.

Finally, we don’t accept nominations or applications for the award, and winners from the previous three years are ineligible.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools?

The $250,000 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award given to the public charter school management organization that demonstrates the most outstanding academic outcomes, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color.

What does the winner receive?

The winner of The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools receives $250,000 for college-readiness efforts for low-income students and students of color, such as scholarships or campus visits. Previous winners have used the prize to, for example, bolster college counseling or support undocumented graduates.

Why did The Broad Foundation create this award?

We wanted to recognize and reward the most outstanding academic performance among charter management organizations so that public school systems nationwide—whether district or charter—could learn from their success.

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools seeks to recognize those charter networks that show the most outstanding academic outcomes while serving significant numbers of traditionally disadvantaged students.

The prize is currently administered by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for the 2018 Broad Prize, charter management organizations must have:

  • Five or more schools in operation as of 2015-2016,
  • 2,500 students or more enrolled each year since 2015-2016,
  • At least 40 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch in 2015-2016, and
  • At least 33 percent of students are students of color in 2015-2016.

Why were those criteria established?

These criteria were established to ensure that the charter management organizations considered for The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools are comparable—that they serve a significant number of students, share similar demographics, and organize schools under the same management organization.

Most charter schools that are ineligible for the award are single-school operators that are not affiliated with a charter management organization. Organizations that outsource school operations to other charter management organizations also do not qualify, nor do for-profit charter operators.

Although many individual charter schools have made strong student gains and have important lessons to share, the practical need to collect and run comparable data makes the inclusion of all charter schools impossible at this point.

The Broad Foundation will continue to review the eligibility criteria and will make revisions to future eligibility requirements deemed necessary to establish the most appropriate, fair and useful comparison possible.

Which organizations are eligible?

See a list of organizations eligible for The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools above.

Who selects the winner?

A review board of prominent education experts from across the country examines student achievement data collected from states with eligible charter management organizations, the College Board and ACT, and analyzed by an independent data research organization. The Broad Foundation and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools do not play a role in choosing the winner. Learn more about review board members here.

What methodology is used to select the top charter organizations?

Typically, states report student achievement data for charter management organizations at the school level rather than in the aggregate. Consequently, The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools’ methodology aggregates school-level student achievement data for all schools affiliated with each of the eligible management organizations to generate organization-wide results and statistics that are presented to the review board. The data are collected, reviewed and analyzed by an independent research organization.   

What quantitative data does the review board consider?

The review board considers the following student achievement and demographic data: 

  • Performance results on mandated state tests in reading, math and science
  • The magnitude of achievement gaps between ethnic groups and between low-income and non-low-income students 

In the case of high schools: 

  • State-reported graduation rates
  • Advanced Placement exam participation and passing rates
  • SAT and ACT exam participation rates and scores
  • Demographic data (e.g., student enrollment, income, ethnicity)

No formula is used to choose the winner. Members of the review board select the winner based on their analysis of publicly available student achievement data, their professional judgment, experience and mutual discussion. Among the factors the review board considers are student outcomes, scalability, size, poverty, demographics, discipline policies and student and teacher attrition rates.

How does the review board compare management organizations that serve primarily high school students to those that serve primarily elementary school students?

Assessment data are standardized so that they can be comparable across organizations. For example, an eligible management organization’s high school performance levels are compared to performance levels for public high school students in traditional districts in the state. The resulting relative rankings of performance versus students at the same school levels make the data comparable across CMOs in different states.

How does the review board analyze the results of charter management organizations that operate schools in different states?

For charter management organizations that operate schools in different states, organization-level analyses are first summarized for each state. National aggregations to reflect management organization-level results are presented where methodologically sound.

What is The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation?

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation was created by Eli and Edythe Broad to advance the public good in education, science and the arts. Learn more about the Foundation here.

What is 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 www.publiccharters.org.

What does “charter management organization” mean?

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools uses “charter management organization” to refer to organizations that operate multiple public charter schools under a shared management strategy or organizations or firms with one clear educational model that covers multiple public charter schools.

The term “charter management organization” is intended to be consistent with the definition of “charter management organization” used by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ charter school database.

Review Board

Each year, a group of prominent education experts from across the country chooses the top three charter management organizations in the country from among the eligible charters and selects the winner. They review student achievement data—including more than 100 measures reflecting students’ college readiness, achievement gaps and proficiency levels—collected from states with eligible charter management organizations, the College Board and ACT and analyzed by an independent research organization. The review board meets to discuss, debate and finally select a winner by secret ballot.

Christopher T. Cross

Christopher T. Cross is chairman of the education policy consulting firm FourPoint Education Partners (formerly Cross & Joftus), where he contributes his considerable strategic planning, policy analysis, and development skills. Cross also serves as a distinguished senior fellow with the Education Commission of the States. Previously, he was a senior fellow with the Center for Education Policy. From 1994 to 2002, Cross was president and chief executive officer of the Council for Basic Education (CBE). Before joining CBE, he served as director of the education initiative of The Business Roundtable and as assistant secretary for educational research and improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. Cross served as president of the Maryland State Board of Education from 1994 to 1997 and was a member from 1993 to 1997. He also was a member of the National Education Commission on Time and Learning. Cross has written extensively on education and other public policy areas and has been published in numerous professional journals and newspapers, including Education Week, Teachers College Record, Phi Delta Kappan, The College Board Review, The Washington Post, the Sacramento Bee, and the Los Angeles Times. Cross holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whittier College and a Master of Arts degree in government from California State University, Los Angeles.

Jane Hannaway

Jane Hannaway is a professor at McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and an institute fellow at the American Institutes of Research (AIR). She is the founding director of the National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), headquartered at AIR, where she has also served as vice president. Hannaway is also the immediate past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and previously served as founding director of the Education Policy Center at the Urban Institute and on the faculty of Columbia, Princeton and Stanford universities. Her current research is heavily focused on issues associated with teacher labor markets and education accountability policies.

Gloria Lee

Gloria Lee has been a leader and entrepreneur improving California public education for the past 19 years. She currently leads Educate78, a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that all children in Oakland, California have access to a high-quality public education. Previously, she was president of NewSchools Venture Fund, overseeing $20 million in annual grant-making and mission-related investing. As entrepreneur-in-residence there, she launched Teaching Channel, a professional development video platform. Lee also co-founded Yu Ming Charter School (a Mandarin immersion school) and Aspire Public Schools. She was Aspire’s chief operating officer as it grew to 17 schools and served as Aspire’s Bay Area superintendent. Under her leadership, student academic performance grew 4.5 times faster than state targets, parent satisfaction was over 90 percent, and enrollment increased 40 percent to 2,700 students. Lee serves on the Boards of the National Equity Project and Great Oakland Public Schools. She started her career with McKinsey & Company. She has a bachelor’s degree in applied economics from Cornell University, and a master’s of business administration and a master’s in education from Stanford University.

Margaret Macke Raymond

Margaret (Macke) Raymond has served as founder and director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University since its inception in 1999. The CREDO team conducts rigorous and independent analysis and evaluation of promising programs that aim to improve outcomes for students in U.S. K-12 public schools. The team conducts large-scale analyses under a collaboration with 30 state education agencies. Raymond has steered the group to be a well-regarded source of impartial insight into the performance and workings of charter schools, city reform strategies and national reform programs. CREDO’s studies and reports are relied upon by the U.S. Department of Education, governors, state chief school officers, state legislators, the courts, other policy makers and the media. She is a regular source for local and national media, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post. Raymond’s deep belief in building capacity for improved analysis of programs and policy has found its place through service on advisory boards, technical resource groups and peer review panels. In addition, Raymond created a visiting “CREDO-ship” to invite promising policy analysts to visit with the team and collaborate on projects of mutual interest. Raymond and her husband Eric Hanushek live in Stanford, California with their yellow Labrador Retriever, Sugar.

Terris Ross

Terris Ross is LEE’s senior director for research and support on the policy and advocacy team. In this role she leads a team in providing policy research support and other resources to members who are promoting educational equity in policy, advocacy, organizing and elected leader roles. Prior to joining LEE, Ross led the elementary and secondary division of the Policy and Program Studies Service (PPSS) at the U.S. Department of Education. There, she provided technical guidance and direction for national educational research activities, primarily in the areas of school accountability and student assessment, data analysis and reporting, and the use of data for policy decisions. Prior to joining PPSS, Ross served as an education statistician on the Annual Reports team at the National Center for Education Statistics. Her policy experience at the local and state levels include leading the assessment, evaluation and development office in Henry County Schools, Georgia, as well as serving the Georgia Department of Education as lead analyst for the school improvement division. Ross holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Clark Atlanta University, a specialist degree in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University, and a Ph.D. in educational policy studies with a concentration in research, measurement and statistics from Georgia State University.

Nelson Smith

Nelson Smith is a consultant and author on education policy. Between 2012 and 2017 he was senior advisor to the National Association for Charter School Authorizers. He was the first president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools from 2004 to 2010. Previously, Smith served as vice president for policy and governance at New American Schools, as the first executive director of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, and as vice president for education and workforce development at the New York City Partnership. He has also taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has authored numerous reports and studies on charter schooling and educational policy.

Christopher B. Swanson

Christopher B. Swanson is the vice president of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit corporation that publishes Education Week. As a member of EPE’s senior leadership team, his responsibilities include project and product development, strategic planning, fundraising activities and building relationships with other organizations working to advance American education. Swanson heads EPE’s research and development division, which includes the EPE Research Center, library and knowledge services units, as well as Education Week Press. Swanson is a frequent commentator on a variety of issues, among them: high school dropout and completion rates, educational policy and research, standards and accountability, instructional reform, student mobility and public school choice.

Rucha Vankudre

Rucha Vankudre serves as the research director at the Education Innovation Laboratory (EdLabs). She contributes to the design and implementation of experiments and large-scale data evaluation projects and oversees the work of predoctoral fellows. She has previously worked at EdLabs in the roles of Project Manager and Research Associate and has over seven years of experience in the field. She has also worked in a corporate setting developing econometric models for a national credit card company. Originally from West Windsor, New Jersey, she holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in economics from Boston University.

Martin West

Martin West is associate professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and editor of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research on education policy. He is also deputy director of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. West studies the politics of K-12 education in the United States and how education policies affect student learning and social-emotional development. He previously worked as senior advisor to the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, taught at Brown University and was a research fellow and non-resident scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Priscilla Wohlstetter

Priscilla Wohlstetter is a Distinguished Research Professor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Prior to her appointment at Teacher’s College, Wohlstetter held the Diane and MacDonald Becket Professorship in Education Policy at the University of Southern California, where she founded and directed the Center on Educational Governance. Her research and writing has focused broadly on the policies and politics of K-12 education reform and specifically on charter schools, public-private partnerships, school networks and, most recently, implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Her latest book, co-authored with J. Smith and C.C. Farrell, is “Choices and Challenges: Charter School Performance in Perspective.”

Winners

2018 Winner – DSST Public Schools

DSST Public Schools is the winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, demonstrating outstanding student achievement across its 13 secondary schools in Denver, Colorado. DSST, which serves 5,300 students—66 percent of whom receive free and reduced-price lunch and 81 percent of whom are students of color—has, for the past 10 years, had 100 percent of its graduates accepted to a four-year college or university.

The two finalists are Achievement First and Uncommon Schools.

Learn more about the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools.

2018 Eligible CMOs
2018 Review Board
2018 Winner Press Release
2018 Top Three Press Release
2018 Video

2017 Winner – Success Academy

Success Academy, in its second year eligible, is the winner of the 2017 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, demonstrating impressive student achievement even as the network expanded to serve more students. Success, which operates 41 schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, has a student population that is 76 percent low-income and 93 percent African-American or Hispanic. In 2016, all of Success Academy’s elementary and middle schools were in the top 10 percent of schools in New York state for advanced academic performance in English, math and science.

The two finalists are DSST Public Schools of Denver, Colorado and Harmony Public Schools of Texas.

Learn more about the 2017 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools.

2017 Video: Top Three CMOs
2017 Eligible CMOs
2017 Review Board
2017 Winner Press Release
2017 Top Three Press Release

2016 Winner – IDEA Public Schools

IDEA Public Schools is a three-time finalist and winner of the 2016 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, demonstrating an impressive record of consistent student achievement. A Texas network of 44 schools throughout Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, IDEA Public Schools serves a student body that is 90 percent low-income and 95 percent Hispanic. Nearly all of IDEA’s high school seniors take the ACT and graduate on time, and IDEA’s schools consistently perform in the top third of Texas schools.

The two finalists are Success Academy of New York City and YES Prep of Houston.

Learn more about the 2016 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools.

2016 Video: Top Three CMOs
2016 Eligible CMOs
2016 Review Board
2016 Winner Press Release
2016 Top Three Press Release

2015 Winner – Noble Network


Chicago-based Noble Network is the rare charter management organization that focuses on high school—grades that are considered the most difficult to improve academic achievement. Noble, however, has consistently defied the odds at its 16 high schools and one middle school. Its 10,000 students—95 percent of whom are African American or Hispanic and 89 percent of whom are from low-income families—surpass their peers on state exams and graduate at higher rates.

The two finalists are Achievement First and IDEA Public Schools.

Learn more about the 2015 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

2015 Video: Top Three CMOs
2015 Eligible CMOs
2015 Review Board
2015 Winner Press Release
2015 Top Three Press Release

2014 Winner – KIPP Schools


With 141 schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia, KIPP Schools serves 50,000 students, the great majority of whom come from low-income communities and who are students of color. KIPP closed more than a fifth of its ethnic and income achievement gaps for middle school students and 65 percent of elementary school gaps.

The two finalists are Achievement First and IDEA Public Schools.

Learn more about the 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

2014 Video: Top Three CMOs
2014 Eligible CMOs
2014 Review Board
2014 Winner Press Release
2014 Top Three Press Release

2013 Winner – Uncommon Schools


Based in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York and serving 10,000 students, Uncommon Schools’ low-income and African-American students are outperforming their peers in their home states. Uncommon focuses on intensive training for all teachers—believing every educator can improve to become an excellent teacher—and on developing in-house curricula and teaching methods.

The two finalists are Achievement First and KIPP Foundation.

Learn more about the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

2013 White Paper
2013 Eligible CMOs
2013 Review Board
2013 Winner Press Release
2013 Top Three Press Release

2012 Winner – YES Prep Public Schools


Houston-based YES Prep serves 9,000 students in 13 schools and sends nearly every single graduating senior to college. The charter organization has also eliminated nearly every income and ethnic achievement gap its students faced.

Learn more about the 2012 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

2012 White Paper
2012 Eligible CMOs
2012 Review Board
2012 Press Release

Explore The Prize

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

2012 - Present

The Broad Prize For Urban Education
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2002 - 2014

The Broad Prize Scholarship Program
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