April 02, 2008
For a remarkable fourth time, the Long Beach Unified School District was named among the top five school systems in the nation today by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
Only one other school system nationwide has achieved this honor more times than Long Beach -- Boston, a five-time finalist. Long Beach now will compete with four other school districts for public education's largest prize, the Broad Prize for Urban Education, which will be announced Oct. 14 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The top winner receives $500,000 in student scholarships. Four remaining finalists receive $125,000 each in scholarships. In all, the prize money totals $1 million. School districts cannot apply for this award. Instead, an independent panel reviews vast amounts of student achievement data from 100 big-city school districts nationwide. Of these 100 school systems, only five were chosen as finalists.
"Long Beach's commitment to students again pays huge dividends," said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. "What an extraordinary accomplishment it is to be named for the fourth time as one of the top school systems in the nation. We deeply appreciate the hard work of our teachers, parents, support staff, administrators, Board of Education and our many business and community partners. Together we're building brighter futures for our students, and we're providing a sense of hope for America's public schools."
Among the reasons Long Beach was selected again was that in 2007, Long Beach outperformed other California districts serving students with similar income levels in reading and math at all grade levels: elementary, middle and high school, according to The Broad Prize methodology. In addition, Long Beach’s low-income, African-American and Hispanic students outperformed their peers in similar districts in reading and math at all grade levels. Long Beach’s Hispanic and low-income students achieved higher average proficiency rates than their state counterparts in reading and math at all grade levels. Long Beach’s African-American students also achieved higher average proficiency rates than their state counterparts in math at all levels and in elementary and middle school reading levels.
The four other finalists include two school systems in Texas and two in Florida. Long Beach won the top prize in 2003.