Senator Lucio's Letterhead

PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2008
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

Senator Lucio Commends BISD

Finalist for the 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education

AUSTIN, TX -- Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. said that the Brownsville Independent School District should be beaming with pride for being selected one of five finalists for the 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual $1 million award that honors urban school districts for making the greatest progress in raising student achievement.

The winner of the Broad Prize will be announced on Oct. 14 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and will receive $500,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors. Each of the four finalist districts will receive $125,000 in scholarships. BISD is one of two Texas school districts nominated. The other is Aldine Independent School District near Houston.

"At a time when the standards of education are being challenged and questioned, BISD has achieved the prerequisites of this award, demonstrating the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement, while reducing achievement gaps among ethnic groups and between high- and low-income students," said Sen. Lucio.

Common among the five districts were notable gains made by Hispanic students in each district on multiple indicators. According to the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, sponsor of the awards, Hispanic students in all finalist districts both outperformed and showed greater improvement than their peers in similar districts in their respective states. In addition, the Board found that all five made notable progress in narrowing achievement gaps between Hispanics and their white peers.

A review board of 19 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, national education associations, think-tanks and foundations selected five finalist districts from 100 of the largest urban school districts nationwide. Besides academic performance and improvement on state exams and closure of income and ethnic achievement gaps, the finalist school districts outperformed their peers on college readiness indicators, such as graduation rates, SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement exam data.

"Without question," noted Sen. Lucio, "everyone, from Superintendent Hector Gonzales, to our schools' principals, counselors, teachers, parents, students and other staff, merit Brownsville's praise and appreciation for reaching such a high level of educational attainment and achievement, and in my book, whether they are selected to receive the 2008 Broad Prize or not, they are still first-place winners for what they've accomplished."

For more information on the Broad Prize, this year's finalists and the review board, please log onto www.broadprize.org.

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