May 02, 2003
Long Beach Unified School District has been chosen from the more than 16,000 school districts nationwide as one of the top five contenders to win the second annual Broad Prize for Urban Education. The Broad Prize is a $1 million prize awarded to the most outstanding urban school districts in the nation.
Long Beach has been chosen as a finalist for the second year in a row. In 2002, The Broad Foundation awarded the district $125,000 as one of the top five large school districts in America.
Only five school districts in the nation were chosen as finalists for the Broad Prize. The other 2003 finalists are Boston Public Schools, Garden Grove Unified School District, Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky and Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia.
The Broad Prize showcases the best urban school districts in America that have made significant gains in overall student achievement. The winner, to be announced in September, will be awarded $500,000. Each of the four finalists will receive $125,000. The cash awards fund scholarships for students in the five winning districts to attend college or other post-secondary training.
"These five districts demonstrate our nation’s most successful efforts in raising student achievement and closing the ethnic and income achievement gaps," said Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation. "These school systems are models of educational innovation, resourcefulness and dedication, and it is critical that we recognize their success and share their strategies with educators and the public across the country."
The Broad Prize combines the spirit of the Pulitzer Prize and the reward of the Nobel Prize by serving not only as an incentive for excellence, but also providing a monetary reward for improved student achievement.
"Being chosen as a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education is a great honor,” said Christopher Steinhauser, superintendent. “This is an achievement our entire community can be proud of. It shows that our schools are working and they are achieving at the highest levels in the country. We are proud that Long Beach educators, students, parents, and community partners have developed a model for the nation."
The Broad Prize for Urban Education is designed to:
• regain the American public's confidence in public schools by spotlighting districts making significant gains in student achievement,
• create an incentive that will dramatically increase student achievement in the nation's largest urban school districts, and
• reward public school systems that are successfully using creative, results-oriented approaches and techniques that better educate children.
In addition to the cash award, the winner of The Broad Prize for Urban Education will be showcased nationwide during the following year. The winning school district's best instruction and management practices will be spotlighted so that other urban school systems can learn about and adopt successful practices.
Selection of the winner of The Broad Prize for Urban Education involves four steps:
1. More than 100 U.S. urban school districts were identified as eligible candidates.
2. A review board, comprised of 20 prominent education leaders from throughout the nation—with the help of the National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA)—analyzed extensive quantitative data and used their collective knowledge and experience to determine the finalists. (The district’s research office provided more than 20,000 pieces of information including extensive student achievement data.)
3. Under NCEA’s guidance, a team of researchers and practitioners will conduct site visits to each finalist district in May and June to gather additional quantitative and qualitative data and meet with each district's school board, superintendent and union leaders.
4. A selection jury will meet this summer to review the information collected on the site visits and information considered by the review board to select one district as the winner of the annual Broad Prize for Urban Education.
The selection jury is comprised of leaders in business, government and philanthropy. The jury includes: Henry Cisneros, CEO of American City Vista; Phil Condit, CEO of The Boeing Company; Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund; John Engler, former governor of Michigan; Jim Hunt, former governor of North Carolina; Richard D. Parsons, CEO, AOL Time Warner; Paul Patton, governor of Kentucky; Hugh Price, former president of the National Urban League; Richard Riley, former US Secretary of Education; Judith Rodin, president, The University of Pennsylvania; Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union; and Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.