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Last week, the Broad Foundation awarded $500,000 in college scholarships to the Houston Independent School District as part of a new award that recognizes the best large urban school system in the nation. As part of the $1 million award, the other four finalists, Atlanta Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, Garden Grove Unified School District (CA), and Long Beach Unified School District, will each receive $125,000 in scholarships.

The Broad Prize for Urban Education is an annual award that honors urban school districts that are making the greatest overall improvement in student achievement while at the same time closing achievement gaps across ethnic groups and between high and low income students.

In Houston, the percentage of elementary school students reaching proficiency increased by 8.3 percent from 1999 to 2001. Meanwhile, middle school students’ proficiency increased by 8.8 percent while high school students improved by 5.5 percent during the same period. At the same time, Houston reduced the achievement gap between high and low income students in both reading and math at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Read more about the award and Houston’s credentials.

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