Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NEWS RELEASE San Diego Unified School District Wins $150,000 in College Scholarships

Reporters and editors: What follows is the news release on from the Broad Foundation on the results of the Broad Prize competition, awarded this morning in Washington, D.C.

For information from the Foundation's perspective, contact Karen Denne, The Broad Foundation, (310) 954-5058,

Jack Brandais | Communications Department | San Diego Unified School District | (619) 725-5570 (Desk) | (619) 607-0477 (Cell)

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San Diego Unified School District Wins $150,000 in College Scholarships for Students as Finalist for the 2013 Broad Prize

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Contact: Jack Brandais, San Diego Unified
Karen Denne, The Broad Foundation

WASHINGTON -- The San Diego Unified School District has won $150,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors as a finalist for the 2013 Broad Prize for Urban Education, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined philanthropist Eli Broad at the Library of Congress to announce that the 2013 Broad Prize winner-which was selected by a bipartisan jury of eight prominent leaders from government, education, business and public service, including two former U.S. secretaries of education-is the Houston Independent School District.

The $1 million Broad (rhymes with "road") Prize is an annual award that honors the four 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. The 75 largest urban school districts in America are automatically eligible for the award each year.

As a finalist for the award, the San Diego Unified School District will receive $150,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. The other two finalist districts-the Corona-Norco Unified School District in Riverside County, Calif., and Cumberland County Schools in North Carolina-will each also receive $150,000 in scholarships. Houston won $550,000 in scholarships for its students.

This is the first time San Diego Unified has been a finalist for the award. Houston's win makes it the only school district in the country to win The Broad Prize twice.

"We congratulate the teachers, administrators, parents and students whose dedication has made San Diego a first-time finalist for The Broad Prize," said Gregory McGinity, managing director of policy for The Broad Foundation, which sponsors the award. "The progress you have made helping students of all backgrounds reach advanced academic levels sets a strong example for large urban school systems across the country."

San Diego Unified has more than 110,000 students-65 percent of whom are low-income. Among the reasons San Diego schools stood out among the nation's largest urban school districts:

* San Diego students outperform students in other California districts with similar poverty rates. In 2012, proficiency rates for San Diego Unified students surpassed expectations compared to other California districts given the poverty level of families in the district. Proficiency rates for San Diego students were above expected across all subjects (reading, math and science) and all school levels (elementary, middle and high school).
* San Diego Unified narrowed achievement gaps. In recent years, San Diego narrowed the achievement gaps between its Hispanic students and white students across California at every school level and in every subject. The district also narrowed the gap between its Hispanic and white students in elementary, middle and high school reading and science, and in elementary and high school math. San Diego also achieved a smaller achievement gap between its low-income students and California's non-low-income students in elementary, middle and high school science and in elementary and high school reading and math.
* San Diego Unified's low-income, Hispanic and African-American high school students showed more improvement in science than other California students. In recent years, San Diego Unified was in the top 30 percent of districts across the state for increasing the percentage of low-income, Hispanic and African-American high school students performing at the highest achievement levels on the state science assessment. Low-income students in San Diego, for instance, increased their performance by 8 percentage points in high school science between 2010 and 2012, while California overall saw scores increase by only 3 percentage points over the same period.

For a full electronic press kit, including details on policies and practices that distinguished San Diego Unified from other large urban districts, please visit Video of the four finalist school districts featuring b-roll and interviews with their superintendents is available at

The eight-member selection jury that chose this year's winner included:

* Henry Cisneros, former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development
* Christopher Dodd, former U.S. senator from Connecticut
* Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund
* Edward Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania
* Richard Riley, former U.S. secretary of education
* Donna Shalala, former U.S. secretary of health and human services
* Margaret Spellings, former U.S. secretary of education
* Andrew Stern, president emeritus of Service Employees International Union

The selection jury evaluated quantitative data on the finalists that consisted of publicly available student performance data compiled and analyzed by RTI International, one of the world's leading research institutes. In addition, the jury evaluated the four finalist districts' policies and practices, compiled following site visits conducted by a team of education practitioners led by RMC Research Corporation, an education consulting company. The site visits included classroom observations and interviews with administrators, teachers, principals, parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives.

The 2013 finalists were selected this past spring by a review board of 17 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, education associations, think-tanks and non-profit organizations that evaluated publicly available student performance data.

As a finalist for the 2013 Broad Prize, San Diego Unified will receive $150,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors who graduate in 2014. Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and who have improved their grades during high school. Scholarship recipients who enroll in four-year colleges will receive up to $20,000 paid out over four years ($5,000 per year). Broad Prize scholars who enroll in two-year colleges will receive up to $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year). For more information on the scholarship program, please visit

Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, please visit

Note: An archived webcast of the event will be accessible today after noon PT at Photos of the event will be available on after 1 p.m. PT today.

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