A year after NYC, Brownsville, Tex., takes home Broad Prize

Brownsville, Tex., will succeed New York City as the winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education, the Broad Foundation just announced at an award ceremony at MoMA studded with stars of the education world.

The Brownsville Independent School District has nearly 50,000 students, 94 percent of them qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. According to the Broad Foundation, BISD has outperformed other Texas districts that have a similar proportion of poor and immigrant student, closed the achievement gap between its Hispanic students and Texas’s white students, and implemented “strong district-wide policies and practices” in administration and finances.

But here’s ammunition for Broad Prize critics: Judging from the speed with which it had news of the prize on its homepage — beating out the Broad Foundation’s own online update — BISD also has a well-oiled public relations machine.