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    LBUSD Named Finalist For 2007 Broad Prize Honoring Urban School Districts Nationally, First Time LBUSD Eligible Again Since Winning Prize in 2003

    The LB Unified School District has been named one of five finalists for 2007 Broad Prize honoring urban school districts making the greatest progress in raising student achievement nationwide.

    LBUSD won the Prize in 2003, the second year it was awarded...and 2007 is the first time a former winnng district has been named a finalist. The Broad Foundation which awards the Prize requires a winning district to wait three years before becoming eligible again.

    In a release, LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser said:

    "Long Beach again inspires the nation by believing in its children. We’re deeply moved and inspired by The Broad Foundation’s recognition and support of excellence in America’s public schools. Our heartfelt thanks go to our unsurpassed team of teachers, classified personnel and administrators, support staff, Board of Education members, Personnel Commissioners, parents, volunteers, business partners, local service clubs, philanthropic groups, clergy, veterans, local colleges and universities, retirees and many others."

    In a release, LBUSD says that among the reasons it was chosen as a 2007 finalist:

    In 2006, Long Beach outperformed other California districts serving students with similar income levels in reading and math at all grade levels: elementary, middle and high school, using The Broad Prize methodology. In addition, Long Beach’s low-income, African-American and Hispanic student subgroups outperformed their peers in similar districts in reading and math at all levels. Long Beach is closing achievement gaps for Hispanics when compared to their White peers in high school reading, middle school math, and elementary school reading and math.

    In addition, the African American-White gap is closing faster than the state in middle school reading and math and in elementary school math. Since 2003, participation rates for African-American and Hispanic students taking the SAT and Advanced Placement exams have risen in Long Beach. At the same time, average SAT scores for African-American and Hispanic student subgroups are on the rise.

    The other 2007 finalists are Bridgeport Public Schools (Connecticut), Miami Dade County Public Schools, New York City Dept. of Education and Northside Indepedendent School District (San Antonio, TX). Over the next two months, site visits will be conducted in each finalist district. "A selection jury of 14 prominent individuals nationwide from business, industry, education and public service will then review both the performance data and the qualitative site visit reports to choose the winning school district," says a Broad Foundation release.

    The winning district, to be named September 18 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will receive $500,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors; each of the four four finalist districts will receive $125,000 in scholarships.

    The Broad Foundation which awards the Prize is a philanthropy established by Edythe and Eli Broad, the latter an L.A.-based developer.

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