MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade and Broward’s school districts have once again made the grade and are being considered for one of the nation’s most prestigious education awards in the country.
On Tuesday, a panel of national educational experts will begin a four day tour Miami-Dade County Public Schools to gather information for a jury of former U.S. secretaries of education, governors, university presidents and CEOs who will decide the winner of the 2011 Broad Prize for Urban Education.
“I’m so incredibly proud of this district for not only beating the odds, but for outperforming everybody else, not only in the state, but of the country,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Awarded annually by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the $1 million Broad Prize honors urban school districts which demonstrate the “greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing income and ethnic achievement gaps”.
“This is the fourth time Miami-Dade Public Schools has been up for this award which shows consistent improvement in student achievement, year upon year, really over the last decade,” said Erica Leppring with the Broad Foundation.
The team will visit Broward County Public Schools in about two weeks. The other finalists for the award are the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina and the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas.
“As we celebrate our 10th year of The Broad Prize, it is significant that all four finalists this year have been finalists before,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in a statement. “One of the most difficult challenges in public education is sustaining progress, but these districts have demonstrated that their steady focus on student achievement has indeed resulted in continued academic gains.”
The winner of The Broad Prize, to be announced Tuesday, September 20th in Washington, D.C., will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors who will graduate in 2012. The three finalist districts will each receive $150,000 in college scholarships, for a total distribution of $1 million in Broad Prize scholarships.