The Broad Prize for Urban Education

Frequent Questions

What is The Broad Prize for Urban Education?
The $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education, established in 2002, is the largest education award in the country given to school districts. The Broad Prize is awarded each year to honor urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among poor and minority students.

What are the goals of The Broad Prize?
The Broad Prize for Urban Education has four goals:

  • Reward districts that improve achievement levels of disadvantaged students.
  • Restore the public's confidence in our nation's public schools by highlighting successful urban districts.
  • Create competition and provide incentives for districts to improve.
  • Showcase the best practices of successful districts.

    Who are the finalists for the 2007 Broad Prize?
    The 2007 finalists are:

  • Bridgeport Public Schools, Conn
  • Long Beach Unified School District, Calif.
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • New York City Department of Education
  • Northside Independent School District in Northwest San Antonio
    Long Beach won The Broad Prize in 2003. This is New York's third consecutive year as a finalist and the second year for Bridgeport and Miami-Dade. Northside is a first-time finalist.

    How is the winner of The Broad Prize for Urban Education selected?
    The 2007 selection process involved four steps:
    (1) 100 urban school districts were identified as eligible candidates for the Prize, based on size, low-income enrollment, minority enrollment, and urban environment.
    (2) A Review Board of 14 prominent education experts from across the country analyzed extensive, publicly available data collected by MPR Associates, one of the nation's leading education research and consulting firms. The Review Board then selected five finalists.
    (3) A team of experienced researchers and practitioners led by SchoolWorks, an educational consulting company, then conducted site visits to each finalist district to gather additional quantitative and qualitative data.
    (4) A Selection Jury comprised of nine nationally prominent business, government and public service leaders then reviewed all resulting quantitative and qualitative data and selected the winner.

    Note: The Broad Foundation, MPR Associates, and SchoolWorks do not decide the winner or the finalists. These decisions are made entirely by the Selection Jury and the Review Board, respectively.

    Can districts apply for The Broad Prize?
    No. One hundred of the country's largest districts that also serve significant percentages of poor and minority students are automatically eligible for The Broad Prize. These 100 districts are automatically analyzed and considered each year based on publicly available data.

    What data is considered to determine the finalists and the winner?
    The Review Board determines the five finalists based on the following data:

  • Performance results on mandated state tests in reading and math for elementary, middle and high schools.
  • Performance of a district compared with its own prior performance and compared with expected performance for similar districts (based on poverty levels) in the state.
  • The reduction of achievement gaps between ethnic groups and between low-income and non-low-income students.
  • Graduation rate: calculated using the latest enrollment data available from the National Center for Education Statistics' Common Core of Data (CCD), the Average Freshman Graduation Rates (AFGR), the Urban Institute Graduation Rates (Cumulative Promotion Index or CPI), and the Manhattan Institute Graduation Rates (Greene's Graduation Indicator or CGI).
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) state average performance and improvement.
  • Advanced Placement exams passed and participation rates.
  • SAT and ACT scores and participation rates.
  • Student demographic data (income, language, ethnicity).
  • The Selection Jury then determines the winner based on analysis of the above data as well as the review of qualitative site visit reports on each district. No formula is used to choose either the finalists or the winner. Members of the Review Board and Selection Jury rely on their professional judgment, experience and discussion with one another.

    What's involved in the site visits?
    Finalist district policies and practices affecting teaching and learning are qualitatively analyzed according to SchoolWorks Quality Criteria Developed for The Broad Prize for Urban Education. The criteria, available at , are grounded in research-based school and district practices found to be effective in three key areas: teaching and learning, district leadership, and operations and support systems.

    The site visit teams gather evidence through analysis of extensive documentation, classroom visits and through hundreds of interviews with the district superintendent, school board leaders, union leaders, principals, teachers, staff and parent and community representatives during a four-day visit.

    How will the districts use the money?
    The $1 million Broad Prize goes directly to graduating high school seniors to attend college or other post-secondary training. The winning district receives $500,000 in scholarships and the four finalist districts each receive $125,000 in scholarships.

    How are the scholarship recipients selected? How much are the scholarships?
    The 2007 Broad Prize scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who graduate in 2008 and demonstrate significant financial need and a record of academic improvement during their high school careers. Seniors from the winning and finalist districts are eligible for two- or four-year scholarships depending on the type of higher education institution they choose to attend. Students who enroll in four-year colleges receive $10,000 scholarships paid out over four years ($2,500 per year). Students who enroll in two-year colleges receive $2,500 scholarships paid out over two years ($1,250 per year). The scholarship selection and disbursement process is managed by Scholarship and Recognition Programs, a unit of the Educational Testing Service.

    What school districts have won The Broad Prize in the past?

  • 2007 - New York City Department of Education
  • 2006 - Boston Public Schools
  • 2005 - Norfolk Public Schools
  • 2004 - Garden Grove Unified School District
  • 2003 - Long Beach Unified School District
  • 2002 - Houston Independent School District
  • What is MPR Associates, Inc.?
    One of the nation's leading education research and consulting firms, Berkeley, Calif.-based MPR Associates manages the rigorous and comprehensive quantitative data collection and analysis process for The Broad Prize.

    What is SchoolWorks?
    SchoolWorks is an educational consulting company based in Beverly, Mass. Using a research-based rubric  for district quality, SchoolWorks leads a site visit team of researchers and practitioners through the collection and analysis of interviews, documents and observations of Broad Prize finalist district practices.

    What is The Broad Foundation?
    The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy established by businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science, and the arts. The Broad Foundation's education work is focused on dramatically improving urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. For more information, please visit

    The Broad Foundation