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The Los Angeles Times reports that Billionaire Eli Broad is suspending the annual Broad prize for the most improved urban district. He will continue to award a prize for charter schools.
“Billionaire Eli Broad has suspended a coveted, $1-million prize to honor the best urban school systems out of concern that they are failing to improve quickly enough. And, associates say, he’s no longer certain that he wants to reward traditional school districts at all.
“The action underscores the changing education landscape as well the evolving thinking and impatience of the 81-year-old philanthropist.”
The truth comes out. Broad has low regard for public education. He thinks it works best when technocratic managers make data-driven decisions, close struggling schools, and open privately managed charter schools. He likes mayoral control, not democratic engagement. He funded a campaign to block a tax increase to support public schools in California. He thinks poverty can be overcome by good management .
“Some observers wonder whether Broad’s expectations for urban systems, including Los Angeles Unified, have been realistic.
“Urban schools are faced with huge challenges, some of which are simply related to concentrated poverty, and so many kids are coming to school with unmet needs,” said Pedro Noguera, a professor of education at New York University.”