Strong and steady won the race for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, winner of the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes large, urban school districts making gains in student achievement. The district, a five-time finalist for the coveted award, will receive $550,000 in college scholarships to dole out to high school students graduating in 2013.
The fourth largest school district in the country, Miami-Dade serves nearly 350,000 students—with more than 100,000 students attending one of the district's 107 high schools. Ninety percent of students in the district are either black or Hispanic, and 74 percent are low income, according to the district's website.
Graduation rates among black and Hispanic students at Miami-Dade rose 14 percentage points between 2006 and 2009—the largest graduation rate increase of any urban district, according to data collected by MPR Associates, Inc., an educational research firm.