Process and Criteria

There are five steps in The Broad Prize selection process:


75 Eligible Districts Identified
Seventy-five urban school districts are identified each year as eligible candidates for The Broad Prize, based on size, low-income enrollment, minority enrollment and urban environment. School districts cannot apply for The Broad Prize, and eligibility does not necessarily serve as an indicator of the district’s academic achievement.
> View eligible school districts
Review Board Determines Finalists
A Review Board of prominent education experts from across the country analyzes extensive publicly available data on the 75 eligible districts collected by RTI International, one of the nation’s leading education research and consulting firms. The Review Board then selects the finalists.

The Broad Prize Review Board determines the finalists based on the following data:
  • Performance and improvement results on mandated state tests in reading and math for elementary, middle and high schools
  • Performance and improvement of the district compared with expected results for similar districts in the state (based on poverty levels)
  • The reduction and magnitude of achievement gaps between ethnic groups and between low-income and non-low-income students
  • Graduation rates calculated using the latest enrollment data available from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Common Core of Data (CCD) according to three different methods: the Average Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR), the Urban Institute Graduation Rate (Cumulative Promotion Index or CPI), and the Manhattan Institute Graduation Rate (Greene’s Graduation Indicator or CGI)
  • Advanced Placement exam participation and passing rates
  • SAT and ACT exam participation rates and scores
  • District demographic data (e.g., student enrollment, income, language, special education, ethnicity)
> View data reports on each of the 75 school districts
Finalist Site Visits
A team of experienced researchers and practitioners led by RMC Research Corporation, an education consulting company, then conducts site visits to each finalist district to gather additional quantitative and qualitative data. District policies and practices affecting teaching and learning are qualitatively analyzed according to a rubric for evaluating the quality of district-wide policies and practices. The criteria are grounded in research-based school and district practices found to be effective in three key areas: teaching and learning, district leadership, and operations and support systems.

During a four-day visit to each finalist district, the site visit team gathers evidence through analysis of extensive documentation, classroom visits and interviews with district leadership, school board leaders, union leaders, principals, teachers, staff and parent and community representatives.
Selection Jury Determines Winner
A Selection Jury comprised of nationally prominent business, government and public service leaders then reviews all resulting quantitative and qualitative data and selects the winner of The Broad Prize.

No formula is used to choose either the finalists or the winner. Members of the Review Board and Selection Jury rely on their professional judgment, experience and discussion with one another.

The Broad Foundation, RTI International and RMC Research do not decide the finalists or the winner. These decisions are made entirely by the Review Board and the Selection Jury, respectively.
Announcement Event and Beginning of Year-long Showcasing and Scholarship Process
The winner of The Broad Prize is announced in the fall at a three-part event, including a panel discussion, a media event and a celebratory reception. The event marks the official start of The Broad Prize scholarship selection process and showcasing of best practices of the winning and finalist districts.