National Test Score Competition
- Subject: National Test Score Competition
- From: Bob Schaeffer <bobschaeffer@EARTHLINK.NET>
- Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 16:10:48 -0500
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
MOGUL OFFERS REWARD FOR URBAN SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
USA Today -- March 15, 2002
by Tamara Henry
Washington -- A foundation created by billionaire Eli Broad will
announce today the largest annual prize ever in public education --
$500,000 in scholarships -- to an urban school district that
significantly raises test scores while reducing the performance gap
between whites and minorities.
The Broad Prize for Urban Education is to be unveiled by a
bipartisan group of senators. The first winner will be named in June
after review by a panel that includes two former education secretaries,
governors and school superintendents.
The prize will fund scholarships for students toward college or
vocational training. The students will be picked by their school
The goal of the prize is to ''stimulate other school districts to
want to improve faster and give the public renewed confidence in public
education,'' says Broad, chairman and chief executive of SunAmerica
Inc., a financial services company based in Los Angeles.
Urban districts will be selected based on data gathered by the
National Center for Educational Accountability, a non-profit research
group. Center Chairman Tom Luce of Dallas says selection data will
include three-year trends for math and reading, scores on college
admissions and Advanced Placement tests, and all local school
Broad, who attended Detroit public schools, said the competition
''is not about finding a district that's in the 98th percentile and it
needs to go to the 99th percentile. This is about finding an urban
district that may be in the 60th percentile and in total goes to the
70th percentile . . . and at the same time narrows the gap between
African-American and Hispanic students and the rest of the students.
That's a charge that the jury will have.''
The prize comes three years after Broad committed $100 million to
establish the Broad Foundation to improve school governance, management
and labor relations.
''K-12 public education in urban areas is the biggest problem facing
America,'' Broad says. Urban schools often operate with fewer resources,
less qualified teachers and increasing enrollments of poor,
low-performing students. Achievement scores in urban schools tend to be
significantly lower than in suburban districts.
Broad views his effort as different from that of former ambassador
Walter J. Annenberg, who put up $500 million in 1993 to improve urban
schools. Annenberg awarded grants to groups with innovative ideas to
work with urban districts. Broad calls his program ''venture
philanthropy.'' His foundation will provide winning schools such support
services as training and public relations.
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