CMS reflects on winning the Broad Prize

Published: Oct. 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 21, 2012 at 11:32 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte - Mecklenburg school (CMS) district had a year to use the title as the best urban school district in the country. Soon another school district will earn that title the Broad Foundation gives to the most improved urban school district.

The year CMS flaunted the title was both challenging and rewarding.

"It recognized us," Facilitator Instructor Summer Rogers said. "But it also raised the bar for us as well, now that the nation is looking at us and seeing what we are doing - it is raising the bar and taking us from good to great."

CMS credited strategic staffing as one of the reasons for winning the Broad. That strategy placed effective principals and strong teachers in struggling schools. They all got more money for making the transfer. At most school that strategy worked. Test scores increased. Now other school districts want to do what CMS is doing.

"The broad prize and the strategic staffing," Rogers said. "Has really just put us on the map. The other day I get an email from a school district in Wisconsin. They just heard about us."

Besides the raised profile, another perk from winning the Broad Prize is the more than half million dollar scholarship money that comes with the title. 28 CMS students received scholarships, some of them received $20,000 for four years of college.

"That's a big plus," CMS school board member Joyce Waddell said. "And those scholarships will help further their education. These are students who may not have been able to do so."

The school districts up for this year's Broad prize are Corona-Norco Unified School District, Houston Independent School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and The School District of Palm Beach County.

The winner will be announced Tuesday, October 23 in New York City.