Miami-Dade Public Schools wins Broad Prize for Urban Education

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, a Grad Nation Community, is the winner of the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an award that recognizes large urban school districts making the greatest progress in the country in raising student achievement. Miami-Dade will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. Three finalist districts in Corona-Norco, Houston and Palm Beach will each receive $150,000 in scholarships.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation awards the $1 million Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize,  an annual award that honors the four large urban school districts that demonstrate the strongest student achievement and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among low-income and minority students. The 75 largest urban school districts in America are automatically eligible for the award each year.

The other three finalists—Corona-Norco Unified School District in Southern California, Houston Independent School District and The School District of Palm Beach County in Florida—will each receive $150,000 in college scholarships. This marks the first time Corona-Norco and Palm Beach County were finalists and a return for Houston, which won the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002.

As the nation’s fourth-largest school district, Miami-Dade has nearly 350,000 students—90 percent of whom are black or Hispanic and 74 percent of whom are low-income. Among the reasons Miami-Dade stands out among the 75 largest urban school districts in America:

  • Outperformed peer districts in academic achievement. In 2011, Miami-Dade’s students outperformed their peers in districts in Florida in all comparisons at all school levels—elementary, middle and high school, and across all subjects—reading, math and science. By contrast, students in other Broad Prize-eligible districts outperformed students in peer districts in their respective states in only 41 percent of comparisons.
  • Minority students reached advanced academic levels. In 2011, the percentage of Miami-Dade’s Hispanic students performing at the highest achievement levels—Levels 4 and 5 on state exams—ranked in the top 30 percent statewide. These students outperformed their peers across the state in reading and math at all school levels and in elementary and middle school science. Miami-Dade also ranked in the top 30 percent statewide at increasing the percentage of black students who performed at the highest achievement levels in elementary and high school reading, math and science.
  • Improved college-readiness levels. Participation and scores on the SAT exam increased simultaneously for Miami-Dade’s students overall. For example, SAT participation by Hispanic students increased 6 percentage points and scores increased 15 SAT score points between 2008 and 2011. In addition, the 2011 ACT and AP participation rates for all students, and black and Hispanic students ranked in the top 30 percent of Broad Prize-eligible districts.
  • Raised graduation rates for minority students. Graduation rates in Miami-Dade for Hispanic and black students outpaced those in other large urban school districts. As shown by the average of three nationally recognized graduation rate estimation methods, the graduation rate in Miami-Dade of both student groups from 2006 to 2009 increased 14 percentage points, or more than 4 percentage points per year on average, to 57 percent for black students and 68 percent for Hispanic students. In comparison, graduation rates of other large urban school districts increased 2 percentage points per year on average during the same period.

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Founded by self-made 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