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Texas district wins Broad prize

The Brownsville Independent School District, located along the U.S. border with Mexico, is the winner of this year's Broad Prize in Urban Education. Selected from among the five finalists (including drama-ridden Miami), it will receive $1 million in scholarship money for its high school seniors. The four other districts will get $250,000 each.

The winner of the prize, the most prestigious in urban education, was chosen by a panel of 10 leaders in education, business and government, including two former U.S. education secretaries (Democrat Richard Riley and Republican Rod Paige) and former Harvard president Lawrence Summers.

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According to the Broad Foundation, Brownsville is one of the nation's poorest school districts, with 94 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch. Billionaire Eli Broad, founder of the foundation, said in a statement that it is "the best kept secret in America," outpacing other urban districts by focusing its resources on direct support to students and teachers.


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