When you spend most of your time thinking about how urban schools need to improve outcomes for their most vulnerable students, it’s nice to step back and be reminded that some districts are indeed making real progress around these important challenges. For the first time ever,
The Broad Prize for Urban Education was awarded to two districts that demonstrated great results in student learning and a commitment to reducing achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color. Congratulations to
Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia and
Orange County Public Schools in Florida for winning the nation’s largest education prize, and to the graduating seniors from these two districts who have the opportunity to share a combined $1 million in scholarship dollars awarded to the winning districts.
Celebrating Success But Preparing for New Challenges
The Broad Prize is not only an incredible windfall for deserving students who might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of college, but it is also an opportunity to showcase and share out the practices that makes these large districts successful. Both districts are girded by solid leadership and a track record of results, but there are new challenges on the horizon. Both must provide their teachers with the training and support they need to successfully implement Common Core, which presents both opportunities and obligations in preparing students to succeed in college and career. Both districts also are implementing new teacher evaluation systems, which for the first time offers teachers detailed feedback on their practice and meaningful data on how successful they’ve been in helping their students learn. We wish both of these districts the best of luck as they continue to create great opportunities for their students, raise their standards and identify exemplary teaching. For more information on the announcement, see
recent coverage in U.S. News and World Report and
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation press release.
Tracy Dell’Angela is a writer, education nonprofit executive director and a mom passionate about education improvements. Previously, Tracy was Director of Outreach and Communications for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. She came to IES from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, which produces research that ...