2007-04-06 / Community

Public Schools In Line For Achievement Prize

The Broad Foundation today announced that for the third consecutive year, New York City will be among the finalists for the 2007 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual $1 million prize given to urban school districts that have made the greatest increases in student achievement. The Prize is the largest education award in the country given to a single school district. This year's five finalists, chosen from among 100 urban school districts, also include Miami-Dade County Public Schools (FL), Northside Independent School District (TX), Long Beach Unified School District (CA), and Bridgeport Public Schools (CT). New York City remains the only urban school district in the state to earn this national recognition. Nominations for the award are based on statistical analyses of student achievement data evaluated by an independent panel.

"Our reforms are clearly paying off for New York City's school children: math and reading scores are up, graduation rates are improving, and we're beginning to close the shameful achievement gap," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We continue to improve a system that has failed generations of city students. While much work remains, we are pleased with this recognition that things are finally headed in the right direction."

According to the Broad Foundation press release, among the reasons in naming New York City as a finalist, Broad highlighted the following successes:

In 2006, New York City outperformed other districts in New York State serving students with similar income levels in reading and math at all grade levels: elementary, middle and high school, using the Broad Prize methodology. Additionally, New York City's low-income, African-American and Hispanic student subgroups outperformed their white counterparts in similar districts in reading and math at all levels.

New York City is closing achievement gaps for Hispanics compared with their white counterparts in high school reading and math, as well as in elementary reading and math. African-American students are also closing achievement gaps compared with their white counterparts in elementary and high school math.

Between 2003 and 2006, participation rates for African-American and Hispanic students taking the SAT exam rose in New York City.

"I am thrilled that the Broad Foundation has chosen the New York City public schools as one of its finalists for the Broad Prize for Urban Education," said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. "This recognition highlights the continued progress we made last year in student successes and reducing achievement gaps among ethnic groups.

Being nominated for a third, consecutive year is a great honor that affirms the contributions made by everyone involved in public schools - students, teachers, parents, administrators, community leaders, and all staff."

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