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February 03, 2015

Broad Foundation Hits 'Pause' on $1-Million Education Prize

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has put a hold on awarding its yearly prize for advances in urban school districts, citing disappointing academic results and difficulty finding qualified finalists, Education Week writes.

Inaugurated in 2002, the Broad Prize for Urban Education has annually split $1-million among large school systems that show gains in improving student performance and closing achievement gaps for minority and low-income pupils. Last year only two districts made it through a review process to be considered by the prize jury, compared to the four or five finalists typical of past years.

In a statement Monday, the Broad Foundation said it wanted to review and update the prize process in light of changes in public education such as the rise of "portfolio" districts with a mix of traditional and charter schools. "The decision to pause the prize was further precipitated by sluggish academic results from the largest urban school districts in the country," the organization said.