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Broad Foundation Names Three Finalists for Charter Schools Prize

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation today named three of the nation's best-known charter-management organizations as finalists for its national award for top-performing charter schools.

Achievement First, KIPP Foundation, and Uncommon Schools will be in the running for Broad's top charter award, which is only in its second year. The winner will be announced in Washington in July during a national charter schools conference. The Los Angeles-based Broad Foundation has been honoring top urban school districts since 2002.

The three finalists are among the largest and most established charter-management organizations in the country. The KIPP charter network, with 125 schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia, enrolls more than 41,000 students. Achievement First, with 22 schools in New York and Connecticut, enrolls 7,000 students. And Uncommon Schools, with 32 schools in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, enrolls 8,000 students. All three networks serve mostly black and Hispanic students from low-income families.

Just like its prize in urban education, the Broad Foundation relies on a review board to study student achievement data and select finalists based on overall performance and progress toward closing achievement gaps. For the 2013 finalist selection process, the board pored over data for 27 urban charter networks. (Chris Swanson, the vice president of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit that publishes Education Week, is a member of the review board.)

The winning network will receive $250,000 to support its efforts to prepare students for college. Last year's winner was YES Prep, a Houston-based charter network.

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