Education News

Houston ISD Finalist For Top Education Award, The Broad Prize

It's not easy to be a finalist for the nation's biggest prize in education. A district can't apply for the award. The Houston Independent School District is a finalist for the second year in a row.


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Actors have the Oscars. Scientists have the Nobel Prize. And in education, there’s the Broad Prize.

It recognizes large urban school districts that do the best job, especially with poor, minority students.

Superintendent Terry Grier says outside researchers look at several years of data to pick four finalists.

“They base that on the progress that you’ve made on increasing academic rigor, like percentage of kids taking and doing well on the SAT, the Advanced Placement exams. They look at your graduation rate. They look at your test scores. They look at how you’ve narrows the achievement gap.”

Grier says the Broad Foundation was particularly impressed with Houston’s graduation rate. It’s improved faster than any other large district in the country.

Grier says HISD is a back-to-back finalist because of steady progress.

I think it has a lot to do with just our continuous progress and the fact we just didn’t do real well one time. They look at data over a four-year period. And so I think they have seen consistent improvement in our district. And there’s no question that’s why.”

HISD will find out if they win the Broad Prize in September.

The district is competing against three other finalists in North Carolina and California.

The winner gets more than half a million dollars in scholarships for students — and bragging rights.

Broad Prize Finalist
HISD Broad Prize Finalist [Courtesy Broad Prize]

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