It all starts with Literacy.

Miami-Dade wins Broad Prize for most-improved district


The Miami-Dade School District — an IFL partner — has won the Broad Prize, given to the district deemed to be the nation’s most improved urban school system.

The nation’s fourth-largest school district with 350,000 students, Miami-Dade was singled out for several reasons: increased percentages of Hispanic and black students achieving advanced levels on state exams; improved participation and performance on the SAT; a higher graduation rate for black and Hispanic students, especially especially between 2006-09, when it grew by 14 percentage points.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the $550,000 prize, to be used for college scholarships, in New York City on Tuesday.

Three other school districts, named as finalists, won $150,000 each in scholarships: Corona-Norco, Calif; Houston; and Palm Beach County, Fla.

This was the fifth year that Miami-Dade was a finalist for the award.

“What is encouraging about Miami-Dade is its sustainable improvement over time,” Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which awards The Broad Prize, said in a press release.

“Their gains are a testament to the hard-working teachers, administrators and parents who have embraced innovative new methods to modernize schools and ensure that students of all backgrounds get the support they need. There is still a long way to go before all American students graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in a global economy, but Miami-Dade’s progress serves as an example for other urban districts across the country.”

Innovations for Learning is expanding its presence in the Miami-Dade district, growing from a pilot program last year. Children in 30 classrooms in nine schools will be using the TeacherMate digital program to learn how to read, aided by volunteers in the TutorMate program, which recruits office workers to connect with schoolchildren for weekly tutoring sessions via telephone and computer.

Details about Miami-Dade’s achievement gains can be found in this Broad Prize announcement.  A video of the award ceremony is to be posted here.

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