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Aldine ISD misses top Broad Prize for 3rd time; Will receive $250K in scholarships

Aldine ISD board members, administrators and other representatives were on hand in New York on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when the national winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education was announced.

Aldine ISD was one of five national finalists for the award. The 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education was awarded to Brownsville ISD.

On hand for the announcement were Aldine ISD Board President Steve Mead, Vicepresident Dr. Viola M. Garcia, Secretary Dr. Alton Smith, Assistant Secretary Rose Avalos, Board Members Merlin Griggs, and Marine Jones, Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Archie Blanson. Also on hand for the announcement were TSTA representative Carolyn Milton and business partner Ralph Wheeler.

Philanthropist Eli Broad at the New York Museum of Modern Art made the announcement of the winner. Also in attendance for the announcement were New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige and former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Browkaw delivered the keynote address at a celebratory luncheon following the announcement.

“Aldine has made consistent student gains, particularly by Hispanic, African-American and low-income students,” said Mr. Broad. “While all large urban school districts in America have more work to do, the Aldine community can be proud that they continue to outpace other urban American school districts. We hope that other districts can learn from Aldine’s success.”

The Broad Prize for Urban Education is an annual award that honors the most outstanding urban school district in the United States that has made the greatest improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among ethnic groups and between highand low-income students.

By being named a finalist, Aldine ISD was awarded $250,000 from the Broad Foundation for college scholarships.

“We want to thank the Broad Foundation for their generous gift and for recognizing the strides Aldine ISD has made in educating all of its children,” said Mr. Mead. “Wanda and her team of administrators, principals and teachers should be commended for all of the effort and energy they have put in over the years in seeing to that all children in Aldine receive a quality education. We are indeed producing the nation’s best.”

“We are so appreciative of the Broad Foundation for selecting Aldine as one of its five national finalists and for the generous gift they provided to help Aldine students attain a college education,” Dr. Bamberg said. “Even though we were not the ultimate winner, being recognized on the national level endorses the long hours and hard work many have put in over the years in educating our children. Our board should also be commended for its vision and leadership in making academic gains among all of our students its top priority.”

For the third time in five years, Aldine was one of five national finalists from a field of 100 school districts who were identified by the Broad Foundation as being eligible candidates for the award based on size, lowincome enrollment, minority enrollment and urban environment.

Once the five national finalists were named, the Broad Foundation’s review board of 18 prominent education leaders from across the country – with the help of the National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA) – analyzed extensive quantitative data and used their collective knowledge and experience to determine the five finalists.

Last May, a team of researchers and practitioners, under NCEA’s guidance, conducted a site visit to Aldine where they interviewed school board members, AISD administrators, staff members, community members and visited schools in the Mac- Arthur Senior High School vertical area, where they gathered additional quantitative and qualitative data.

Following the site visit, a selection jury met during the summer to review the information and select the winner.

The three other finalists were Broward County Public Schools, Florida, Long Beach Unified School District, CA, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.