LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The top three public charter school systems in the running for the 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools are Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and IDEA Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today. The three charter systems are up for the top prize of $250,000 for college-readiness efforts for their students.
The Broad (rhymes with "road") Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award to honor the urban public charter school system that has demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in the nation in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color.
An eight-member review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from around the country evaluated publicly available student achievement data on 20 large established urban charter school systems and found that Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and IDEA Public Schools had the best overall student academic performance in recent years. The Broad Foundation did not play a role in selecting the top three charter systems.
The winner will be announced on July 1 at the 2014 National Charter Schools Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Achievement First is a network of 25 schools serving more than 8,100 students in five cities in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. More than 80 percent of its students are low-income, and 98 percent are African-American or Hispanic.
KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools. There are 141 KIPP schools across the country serving more than 50,000 students. More than 86 percent of its students are from low-income families, and 95 percent are African-American or Hispanic.
IDEA Public Schools is a network of 30 public charter schools serving more than 15,000 students across Texas. Eighty-two percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and 96 percent are African-American or Hispanic.
Among the reasons the three charter organizations were selected as the top performers:
- In 2013, Achievement First's students performed better than peers in districts with similar demographics in Connecticut in all available comparisons—elementary, middle and high school reading, math and science. In recent years, Achievement First narrowed 63 percent of its achievement gaps at the advanced proficiency level between its low-income students in Connecticut and New York and the rest of each state's non-low income students—the highest percentage of all eligible CMOs. And in 2013, 98 percent of Achievement First's African-American seniors took the SAT exam, achieving an average SAT score of 1482, one of the highest averages among the eligible CMOs.
- In 2013, 99 percent of IDEA's Hispanic seniors took the ACT exam, the highest rate among the eligible CMOs, and achieved an average score of 19.4, one of the highest averages among the eligible CMOs. Additionally in 2013, in 78 percent of available comparisons, advanced proficiency rates for IDEA's Hispanic students ranked in the top 30 percent of Texas when compared to Hispanic students in the rest of the state. By comparison, on average, eligible CMOs ranked in the top 30 percent of their state(s) in 37 percent of available comparisons.
- In recent years, KIPP closed 21 percent of its racial and ethnic achievement gaps in middle school reading, math and science. By comparison, on average, the remaining eligible CMOs closed 2 percent of achievement gaps in middle school. In addition, KIPP narrowed 65 percent of its racial and ethnic achievement gaps in elementary school reading, math and science in all available comparisons.
"Achievement First, KIPP and IDEA Public Schools are accomplishing what once seemed impossible: delivering a high-quality education to thousands of students in systems expanding across states and even the country," said Bruce Reed, president of The Broad Foundation. "Our hope is that all public charter schools and traditional district schools can learn from the practices of these high-performing systems."
Non-profit charter management organizations eligible for the 2014 award operated a minimum of five schools since 2009 with at least 2,500 students and served sizeable percentages of low-income students and students of color. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For a list of eligible CMOs, visit http://www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools/eligible.html.
The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is the sister award to The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional public school districts. The Broad Foundation launched both awards to help schools and school districts across America learn from innovative public school systems producing the strongest student outcomes.
The winner of the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools was Uncommon Schools, and the inaugural winner in 2012 was YES Prep Public Schools.
Founded by 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, visit www.broadeducation.org.
SOURCE The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation