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And the winner of the 2013 Broad Prize is…

2013 September 12
by HISD Communications

In a little more than a week, we are going to Washington DC to find out if we won the 2013 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The Broad Prize is huge. If we do win on Sept. 25, our students will receive $550,000 in scholarships, and HISD will be showcased as a successful model for other school districts across the country. And even if we don’t win, our seniors will still receive $150,000 in scholarships. Graduates from the winning and finalist districts are eligible for two- or four-year scholarships of up to $20,000.

HISD is competing against three other school districts in the U.S. for the largest education award in the country. The Broad Prize is awarded annually to honor urban districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among low-income and minority students.

Our challenges in HISD include the fact that 80 percent of our students are on free or reduced lunch. We know that we can’t control the challenges they face at home, so we focus on the things we can control – the quality of teachers in the classrooms, the quality of the learning environment, the level of academic rigor, and the level of expectations. We are constantly asking ourselves, do we have engaging lessons? Do we have enough tutoring? Do we have a structure in place to give students the support they need to succeed? Our goal is nothing less than to change their lives of our students forever.

I could not be more proud to work in a district led by visionary people who truly believe that every child has the ability to excel in the classroom as long as we give our teachers and principals the tools they need. HISD won the Broad Prize in 2002, the first year it was offered, and I think we can do it again.

For more about how HISD became a 2013 Broad Finalist, visit our website. To learn more about the 2013 finalists, watch this Broad video, which includes interviews with the superintendents of the four competing districts.

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