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Finalists Narrow Achievement Gap 80%

The 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education will be announced Tuesday, Oct. 14 at a luncheon at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Five finalists — including Long Beach Unified School District — will be honored as America’s best urban schools. The top national winner will be named at that event. Other finalist districts include Aldine Independent School District, Texas; Broward County Public Schools, Florida; Brownsville Independent School District, Texas; and Miami Dade County Public Schools, Florida. Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC and moderator of the second presidential debate, will be the keynote speaker. The five finalist districts have far surpassed all of the 100 large urban school districts that are eligible to compete for the Broad Prize. While the 100 districts succeeded in narrowing 58 percent of the achievement gaps between white and hispanic students, the five finalists narrowed 80 percent of the achievement gaps between these groups of students. They far surpassed their peers statewide in reducing ethnic and income achievement gaps. All five finalists have shown significant progress in helping all students — no matter their background — to prepare for and attend college. The study by the Broad Foundation looked closely at gap closures that occurred only when both hispanic and white student groups increased their achievement. The five finalists had even a greater margin of success — 80 percent for the five finalists versus 50 percent for the 100 large urban districts in the U.S. Unlike some other large school districts, the gap closure in the five finalist districts was not attributable, in part, to white student achievement declining.