- Faith & Family
As a member of the School Board, I am pleased to inform you that two weeks ago, Miami-Dade County Public Schools [M-DCPS] was named the winner of The Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual award that honors urban school districts across the country that are making the greatest progress in raising student achievement. This is the fifth time that M-DCPS had been recognized as a finalist. The District was also a finalist in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011. By winning this year, the District demonstrated that when you are consistent on your aspirations and steadfast in your determination you succeed.
Our District is a model of success for countless children everywhere who deserve better. They deserve a chance to excel in life. Although we cannot guarantee equal outcomes, we can guarantee equal access by leveling the playing field enabling our young people to compete and achieve the American Dream. In addition to being a force for good, America is a nation of innovation and individual spirit always working to achieve greater things for mankind. As our Superintendent said upon receiving the broad Prize, “the future America will be superior to the one we inherited ourselves.”
Through hard work and steadfast persistence, our District under the Board’s leadership and the Superintendent’s creative management skills, has regained the trust of our community under the worst of economic circumstance.
The Broad Prize honors urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while breaching the achievement gaps among ethnic groups and between high- and low-income students. Although 91 percent of our are minority and nearly three-quarters live in poverty, with 21 percent still learning English, the performance of the District’s Black and Hispanic students stands out when compared to those in similar districts across the state and nation. The percentage of our students who took the ACT exam grew faster than most of their counterparts in urban districts nationally from 2008 to 2011. Graduation rates for Black and Hispanic students rose by 14 percentage points. Our students have outperformed students in many major U.S. cities in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in science, mathematics and reading. The winner of The Broad Prize will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for graduating seniors. As members of our community we should rejoice in such an achievement and come together in support of our schools. They are the incubators of success and new educational skills. It is important that as parents we become active participants in our children’s schools and support groups. Our children’s education is determined by our involvement and vigilance. I urge you to stay focused on the goal and constantly look for additional information about opportunities that could enhance our youngsters’ future. You hold the key to their success and future way of life.
By Dr. Wilbert T. Holloway
Member of the School Board of Miami-Dade County