Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) recently was named the winner of The Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual award that honors urban school districts in the nation that make the greatest progress in raising student achievement. M-DCPS had been recognized as a finalist for the prize a total of five times. The win demonstrates that consistency in goals brings success in life.
M-DCPS is a model of success because every student is offered an opportunity to succeed. While it may be difficult to sustain such high levels of achievement, the District will always strive to achieve greater things for our students and community. As a result of the Board’s leadership and the Superintendent’s outstanding management skills, our school district has regained the trust of our community under very difficult economic circumstances.
The Broad Prize honors urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing the achievement gaps among ethnic groups and between high and low income students. Although 91 percent of M-DCPS students are minority, and nearly three-quarters live in poverty, with 21 percent still learning English, the performance of the District’s African-American and Hispanic students stands out when compared to those in similar districts across the state and nation.The percentage of our students taking the ACT exam between 2008 and 2011 increased faster than most of their counterparts in urban districts across the nation. Graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students rose by 14 percentage points. M-DCPS students have outperformed students from many major U.S. cities in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in science, mathematics and reading.The positive results are a testament of the District’s concentrated and bold approach to reading instruction, including summer reading camps; reading interventions in elementary, middle, and senior high schools, as well as an emphasis on reading across disciplines; a focus on guiding middle school students to advanced-level classes, which increases the pipeline to Advanced Placement courses at the high school level; extended learning opportunities through the Links to Learning program, and the Superintendent’s Success Academy.As the 2012 Broad Prize winner, the District will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for graduating seniors. Other finalists each will receive $150,000 in scholarships. The District’s success will boost the mission of uniting our community in support of our schools, which are the repositories of success for students both academically and professionally.