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PR- 333-07
September 18, 2007


$500,000 to Be Awarded to New York City for College Scholarships

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today accepted the Broad Prize for Urban Education recognizing New York City as the nation's most improved urban school district. The annual prize, the largest and most prestigious education award in the country, is given to the district that has demonstrated the greatest progress in raising academic performance for all students while also reducing the achievement gap between ethnic groups and high and low-income students. The Mayor was joined in Washington, D.C. by Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis Walcott and New York City Schools  Chancellor Joel I. Klein.  This is the third consecutive year that New York City has been a finalist for the Broad Prize.

"I thank the Broad Foundation for their vote of confidence in the New York City public school system. While we have made significant progress, much work remains to be done," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "Today's result demonstrates that New York City's school reforms are raising achievement among our students, particularly minority students, to levels that weren't considered possible just a few years ago, and this award recognizes the hard work of the teachers, students and parents and acknowledges that we are heading in the right direction."

"I thank the Broad Foundation and congratulate the people whose hard work made this happen: the principals, teachers, students, and parents in our 1,400-plus public schools," said Chancellor Klein. "They all deserve credit for the fact that more students than ever in New York City are proficient in reading and math, and are graduating high school in record numbers."

Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein congratulated the four other finalists: Bridgeport Public Schools, the Long Beach Unified Public School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and Northside Independent School District in San Antonio. Since 2002, when the State Legislature gave Mayor Bloomberg control of the school system, the Children First reforms instituted by the Mayor and Chancellor have redirected hundreds of millions of dollars from the bureaucracy into classrooms and given principals more authority to made decisions for their school while holding them accountable for raising student achievement.

Criteria for awarding the Broad Prize are grounded in research-based school and district practices found to be effective in three areas:  teaching and learning, district leadership and operations and support systems. This year, 100 of the nation's largest urban school districts were eligible for the Broad Prize, and the five finalists were selected based on an extensive review of data by MPR Associates, Inc., a national education research consulting firm. A review board of 14 prominent educational leaders evaluated the data and selected the finalists. The board found New York City stood out on several fronts.

  • In 2006, New York City outperformed other districts in New York State serving students with similar income levels in reading and math at all grade levels.
  • New York City is closing achievement gaps for Hispanic and African-American students. Gains made by Hispanic students outpaced their white counterparts in reading and math. Gains by African-American students outpaced their white counterparts in math.
  • Between 2003 and 2006, participation rates for Hispanic and African-American students taking the SAT exam have gone up.

Earlier this year, teams of educational researchers and practitioners visited the finalist districts to interview administrators, union representatives, community leaders and parents. They also conducted focus groups with teachers and principals, and observed classrooms. A selection jury of nine prominent leaders from the fields of business, industry, education, and public service then reviewed site visit reports and performance data to select the winning school district.

The $1 million prize is divided among the five finalists with New York City set to receive $500,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors.  The Department of Education will notify students of the availability of the scholarships and encourage them to apply. Scholarships of $10,000 will be distributed to students applying to four-year colleges, and $2,500 awards will be granted to students applying to two-year schools. Administration of the scholarships is handled by the Educational Testing Service. The other four district finalists will each receive $125,000 in scholarships.


Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker   (212) 788-2958

David Cantor/Debra Wexler   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

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