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IDEA Public Schools Wins Broad Prize for Charter School Networks

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Texas-based IDEA Public Schools is the winner of this year's Broad Prize, an annual award recognizing high performing charter school networks.

The winner was announced at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' annual conference which is taking place in Nashville this year.

Finalists for the prize included Success Academy in New York City and another Texas-based network, Yes Prep Public Schools.

Funded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the award recognizes non-profit charter management organizations in urban areas that are closing achievement gaps between low income minority students and their higher income peers.

(The Broad Foundation helps support Education Week's coverage of policy, government and politics, and systems leadership. Christopher B. Swanson, the vice president of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit corporation that publishes Education Week, is a member of the review board for the Broad Prize for public charter schools.)

Money from philanthropists such as the Broad's—as well as the federal government—have been key to the rapid growth of charter management organizations in urban areas.

Although most charter schools nationally are independent from networks, CMOs account for 22 percent of all charters that have opened over the last five years, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (For an in-depth look at the role of philanthropy's role in the rise of CMOs, read Education Week's coverage of the 25th anniversary of the first charter school law.)

IDEA Public Schools, which was a finalist for last year's Broad Prize as well, will receive $250,000 to spend on college readiness efforts for its students, such as scholarships and college visits.

The network includes 44 schools serving 24,000 students.

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