Gwinnett County Public Schools Named One of Five Top Urban School Districts in America; Second-Time Finalist for $2 Million Broad Prize

Gwinnett County Public Schools Named One of Five Top Urban School Districts in America; Second-Time Finalist for $2 Million Broad Prize

LOS ANGELES – Gwinnett County Public Schools was named today by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation as one of five urban school districts selected as a finalist for the 2010 Broad Prize for Urban Education, guaranteeing the district a minimum of $250,000 in college scholarships for its students.

The Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Urban Education is an annual $2 million award—the largest
education prize in the country—that honors the urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest
overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps
among poor and minority students.
Other finalists this year are:
· Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, N.C.
· Montgomery County Public Schools, Md.
· Socorro Independent School District, El Paso, Texas
· Ysleta Independent School District, El Paso, Texas

The winner of The Broad Prize, to be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 19 in New York City, will receive
$1 million in college scholarships for high school seniors who will graduate in 2011. The four finalist
districts will each receive $250,000 in college scholarships.

“This marks the second consecutive year Gwinnett has been a Broad Prize finalist, which demonstrates
the district’s unwavering focus on strong, sustainable student achievement,” said Eli Broad, founder of
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “It is our hope that school districts around the country will learn
from the practices Gwinnett and the other finalist districts are employing that are leading to impressive
academic gains.”

Every year, 100 of America’s largest urban school districts are automatically eligible for The Broad
Prize; they cannot apply or be nominated. This year’s five finalists were selected by a review board of
18 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading
universities, national education associations, think-tanks and foundations. The review board evaluated
publicly available academic performance data that was compiled and analyzed by MPR Associates,
Inc., a leading national education research consulting firm, and then selected the five districts.

Among the reasons that Gwinnett was chosen as a 2010 Broad Prize finalist:
· In 2009, Gwinnett outperformed other Georgia districts that serve students with similar family
income levels in reading and math at all school levels (elementary, middle and high school),
according to The Broad Prize methodology.
· In recent years, Gwinnett has narrowed achievement gaps between both African-American and
Hispanic students and white students in reading at all school levels and in elementary and middle
school math. For example, between 2007 and 2009, the gap between Gwinnett’s African-American
and white students in middle school math narrowed by 8 percentage points.
· In 2009, the achievement gaps between African-American and white students in Gwinnett were
among the smallest in the state in reading at all school levels and in elementary and middle school
· Between 2006 and 2009, participation rates rose for African-American and Hispanic students
taking the SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement exams. For example, between 2006 and 2009, the
participation rate for African-American high school seniors on SAT exams increased by 9
percentage points.

Of the five districts in the running for the 2010 Broad Prize, Socorro was also a finalist last year, and
Charlotte-Mecklenburg was a finalist in 2004. Montgomery County and Ysleta are first-time finalists.
Over the next two months, teams of educational researchers and practitioners led by the education
consulting company RMC Research Corporation will conduct site visits in each finalist district using a
research-based rubric for district quality to gather qualitative information, interview district administrators, conduct focus groups with teachers and principals and observe classrooms. The teams will also interview parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives. A selection jury of prominent individuals from business, industry, education and public service will then choose the winning school district after reviewing both the performance data and the qualitative site visit reports.

Previous Broad Prize winners have been the Aldine Independent School District in Houston (2009);
the Brownsville Independent School District in Texas (2008); the New York City Department of
Education (2007); Boston Public Schools (2006); Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia (2005); the
Garden Grove Unified School District in California (2004); the Long Beach Unified School District,
Calif. (2003); and the Houston Independent School District (2002).

For more information about The Broad Prize, this year’s finalists, the review board and selection jury,
please visit

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy established by entrepreneur
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 K-12 urban public education
through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. The Broad Foundation’s
Internet address is and foundation updates are available on Twitter.