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Three Charter School Systems Named Top in Nation, in Running for 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools

LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2013—The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today that the top three charter school systems in the running for the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools are Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and Uncommon Schools. The three charter systems are up for the top prize of $250,000 for college readiness efforts for their students.

The Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award to honor the urban public charter school system that has demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in the nation in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority students.

A nine-member review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from around the country evaluated publicly available student achievement data on 27 large established urban charter school systems and found that Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and Uncommon Schools had the best overall student academic performance in recent years. The Broad Foundation did not play a role in selecting the top three charter systems.

The winner will be announced on July 2 at the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C.

Achievement First is a network of 22 schools serving more than 7,000 students in four cities in Connecticut and New York. Nearly 80 percent of students are low-income, and 98 percent are African- American or Hispanic.

KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college- preparatory public charter schools. There are 125 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 41,000 students. More than 86 percent of students are from low-income families, and 95 percent are African-American or Hispanic.

Uncommon Schools is a network of 32 public charter schools across Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, serving more than 7,900 students. More than 78 percent of students are low-income, and 98 percent are African-American or Hispanic.

Among the reasons the three charter organizations were selected as the top performers:

  • In 2012, Achievement First’s students performed better than their peers in school districts with similar income demographics in Connecticut and New York in all available comparisons—elementary, middle and high school reading, math and science in Connecticut, and elementary reading, math and science and middle school reading and math in New York.
  • In recent years, participation rates and average scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams increased simultaneously for KIPP’s Hispanic students. For example, AP participation by Hispanic students increased an average 10 percentage points each year between 2009 and 2012, while Hispanic passing rates increased an average 6 percent each year
  • In 2012, 100 percent of Uncommon Schools’ high school seniors took the SAT exam and achieved an average score of 1570—20 points above the College Board’s college-readiness benchmark.

“These charter systems demonstrate that success is possible for all students, regardless of socioeconomic background,” said Rebecca Wolf DiBiase, managing director for programs of The Broad Foundation. “They serve as an example for all public school systems that can learn from the practices behind their student achievement results.”

Charter management organizations eligible for the 2013 award operated a minimum of five schools for at least four years and served sizeable percentages of urban, poor and minority students. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For a list of eligible organizations, visit

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is the sister award to The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional public school districts. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation launched both awards to help schools and school districts across American learn from innovative public school systems producing the strongest student outcomes.

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

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