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Two Districts Win $1 Million Broad Prize for Urban Education

Two Districts Win $1 Million Broad Prize for Urban Education For First Time

This week, for the first time in its history, two school districts were awarded The Broad Prize for Urban Education. 

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced on Monday that the Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia and Orange County Public Schools in Florida are co-winners of the 2014 award, said a press release. The two districts will split the prize money of $1 million and will "receive $500,000 in college scholarships for their high school seniors."

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Eli and Edythe Broad and others to announce the winners. 

I am thrilled to celebrate the achievements of educators, students and families in two communities, who have accomplished a shared goal. There is no single solution to the challenge of ensuring a world-class education for every child. Gwinnett County and Orange County have taken very different paths. Yet the real winners in both places are the same: children. And both districts offer important lessons for the nation: success is possible anywhere, and getting there doesn’t look the same everywhere.

The $1 million Broad Prize, the press release said, is "an annual award that honors the large urban school districts that demonstrate the strongest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among low-income students and students of color." Seventy-five of the largest urban school districts in America are automatically eligible for the award each year.

“We may have a long way to go in this country to improve urban public education, but the school systems in Gwinnett and Orange counties give us good reason to celebrate what we’ve accomplished so far,” said Bruce Reed, president of The Broad Foundation. “Gwinnett County shows how a district can improve and sustain student performance over many years, while Orange County demonstrates that a sense of urgency and focus can improve student achievement in a hurry. These two winners have kept their eye on the prize, which is to help all students reach their potential.”

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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