Billionaire Suspends Prize Given to Schools

Motoko Rich, New York Times, February 9, 2015

Eli Broad, the Los Angeles-based billionaire philanthropist, has suspended a prize his foundation has given annually to an urban school district for more than a decade, saying he cannot find school districts doing enough good work to merit the award.

The $1 million Broad Prize, which 12 districts have won since 2002, has rewarded large urban districts with high numbers of students of color from low-income families. The judges have looked for improvement in test scores, graduation rates and college admissions.

“Both the review board and the selection jury were disappointed with the overall progress in urban public schools,” said Karen Denne, chief communications officer at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “They wanted to set a higher standard and a higher bar. They wanted the prize to mean something.”

Members of the prize review board said it had become more difficult to identify school districts that were pushing test scores or graduation rates up.


With districts coping with entrenched poverty, slashed budgets, testing scandals and growing opposition to new academic standards and testing, progress has been difficult, some education experts said. “There’s no real urban system in the country that any of us would regard as better than mediocre,” said Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.


“Eli Broad was wrong about what was needed to improve public education,” said Diane Ravitch, the education historian and activist, in an email. “He thought that management and charters could overcome poverty, and his cancellation of the prize is his admission that he was wrong. The problems are deeper than he imagined.”

Julian Vasquez Heilig, a professor and director of the doctorate of educational leadership at California State University, Sacramento, said, “I think that parents and stakeholders are a lot more suspicious of these types of reforms because we’ve been at it for more than a decade and they haven’t really moved the needle.”


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  • Whitetrashgang

    Well he could try a real poor school, in say China and see if it works, and then explain why it now works.

    • Raymond Kidwell

      I’m from the ghettos. I score really well on tests and college bound. But because of my skin color anything I accomplish is racism. I’m sure we can extend the same to Chinese people. So they are probably just doing well in school due to white privilege. You just don’t understand the oppression that makes jimbo want to stick his wee wee into an electrical outlet.

      • Wing-nut.

        Thank you. Very much.

    • LHathaway

      That’s quite ingenious.

    • JInSanD

      He could also try a real poor white school, in say the United States and see if it works, and then explain why it now works.

      • Dr.Bazzi

        Haven’t you heard, there are no poor white schools, just inquire of the department of Educational propaganda. They will tell you white people are not poor, there “privileged” and have $900, 000.00 homes and two Mercedes.

      • LexiconD1

        Appalachia is full of them.

    • Christorchaos

      China didnt have the “legacy of Jim Crow.” Sigh.

      • Alucard_the_last

        They never had any negroes to realize that they would NEED Jim Crow.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      Or West Virginian/Appalachian areas.

      Or poor schools who have kids that come from two parent households.

  • propagandaoftruth

    The judges have looked for improvement in test scores, graduation rates and college admissions.
    Oh, they are observing results rather than hype? Ha ha! They will never give out another dime at this rate…


    “Both the review board and the selection jury were disappointed with the overall progress in urban public schools,” said Karen Denne, chief communications officer at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “They wanted to set a higher standard and a higher bar. They wanted the prize to mean something.”



    • TruthBeTold

      Whenever you see claims of dramatic improvement in minority test scores (usually reported in the NYT) you know that a year or two later the cheating will be exposed.

      It’s likely that the scam has been tried so many times that it’s easy to spot and more difficult to pull off.

    • Anna Tree

      You forgot this one jewel too:

      “The problems are deeper than he imagined.”

      DNA deeper.

  • Dindu Nuffins

    Withholding the prize from poorly performing schools full of “urban youth” is racist.

    • Raymond Kidwell

      Their performance is low because all of the racists in this world -like the people on amren- want to see them fail and oppress them.

      • ozamataz

        I don’t want to see them fail. I want them to be very successful, so they can escape from White oppression, forming their own country, and leaving us alone to contemplate our racism in utter White blandness. But alas, it will never happen because of all the white street gang thugs, roaming the streets of their ‘hoods, stealing their books and homework. Savages.

        • Raymond Kidwell

          When Tyrone raped that young lady passing through his neighborhood and beat her, who do you think was responsible? It was you and other white racists like you. You were sending out oppression vibes due to your white privilege which invaded his brain and caused him to act differently. And when you start blabbing about how that doesn’t make sense it’s just because you aren’t smart enough to get it and proves that liberals have a superior I.Q. even though we don’t believe I.Q. is real, it’s still good to know ours is higher.

          Also your need to use “facts” and “logic” along with your “statistics” is why you are never gonna win an election. Handing out pot leafs and telling voters that everything is the white mans fault or the rich mans fault- that’s how we connect with our genius constituency.

      • WR_the_realist

        I do hope you’re being sarcastic.

    • Christorchaos

      Truthfully, whats not “racism”? From sun up to sun down, blacks are dteerministic robots controlled by “racism” (always undefined).

      • Raymond Kidwell

        Racism only exists in the negative in regards to white man. When Tyrone runs faster than everybody else, it’s because blacks are superior. When he scores badly on a test, it’s because of racism. When Jews score higher on a test, it’s due to the superiority of the Jewish race. When a Jew acts in a paranoid and neurotic way- it’s due to racism. You see we can boil it all down to one prima facta: a continuous attack against the white race. But its packaged in such a way that unthinking brainwashed liberals never unravel the thread far enough to see it for what it is. “Turn on the TV, Tune out free thought and tune in”. They are conditioned to not use critical thinking.

  • How about spending this money on lower class whites, going to their schools to find diamonds in the rough?

    OTOH, he’s no Bully Gates, plucking some no-name educratic hack out of the education-industrial complex to write him some fancy new K-12 pedagogy, the buying all the politicians, think tanks and talking heads necessary to steamroll opposition, then buying this hack onto the presidency of the College Board so that the SAT can be written around this fancy new pedagogy. That’s how we fix the schools and make thy core common.

  • dd121

    The fundamental assumption that liberals and neo-cons hold about education is that all students have the same potential. Clearly they don’t, with negroes being about 15-20 IQ points lower than whites. It’s a huge amount. That means that one out of four of them has an IQ of 75 or lower.

    Holding teachers to performance standards that negroes simply cant meet or exceed makes nonsense of holding teachers feet to the fire if they get stuck trying to teach a room full of blacks.

    This is edifice built on a foundation of sand. Why don’t people ever talk about this? How could you fire anybody for raising this issue? It is easy to prove and the leftist position is easy to debunk.

    It’s the 10,000 lb. elephant in the room.

    • Nancy

      I taught in the ghetto for a few years right after college, when the fad of the day was to have a big sign in every classroom that read, “Every Child CAN Learn”. We were also forced to write the “objective” for every single lesson across the top of the blackboard, including the GA state number of said objective. (Example: “Objective LA 2.4 (B): Students will identify plural nouns”.)

      As though that made a bit of difference to the dullards in the desks.

      One of my former principals openly threatened the faculty during meetings, saying things like, “I’m puttin’ up each class’ test scores on da lobby wall, cuz if I’M gonna be embarrassed, YOU gonna be embarrassed.” Another quote: “Each o’ you only a couple paychecks away from livin’ on da’ street anyway”. (Regarding what would happen if we lost our job as a result of poor test scores.)

      This was Atlanta 1990. I’m shocked it took people that long to figure out about the cheating.

      • dd121

        You can repeat the big lie often and loudly. It still doesn’t make it true.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      I was about to use the ‘….elephant in the room’ analogy, but you beat me to it. Liberals will always point the finger around the room rather than at the elephant.

      • rebelcelt

        I wonder if that day will ever come? Maybe, when there is just no more money. When resources are very limited, people tend to stop putting up with foolishness.

    • Olorin

      > That means that one out of four of them has an IQ of 75 or lower.

      You’re close, but that’s not how IQ distribution works. And it’s actually WORSE than you say. Far worse.

      First, two graphs:

      IQ scores for all blacks have a mean of around 85. IQ scores for all whites have a mean of around 100.

      This means that any black person you meet on the street who is “absolutely normal/average” for blacks falls a full standard deviation below the white average IQ…AND falls below 87 percent of whites.

      Also, any black person you meet on the street is about 50 percent likely to fall below 85 and ***85 percent likely to fall below 100.***

      (For whites it’s about 13 and 46 percent respectively.)

      Whereas 1 in 10 whites in a normal IQ distribution would fall at 120 or above, only 1 in 100 blacks would.

      Whereas only 13 in 100 whites in a normal IQ distribution would fall at 85 or below, a full 44 in 100 blacks would.

      Another factoid from the first chart: of any black you meet on the street, there is a 1 in 10 chance they are functionally retarded (IQ 70 or below, and that used to be a higher threshhold, but it ended up including too many blacks so was changed). There is only a 1 in 10 chance that they are bright enough to fit into the top HALF of white IQ.

      This is why we instinctively fear, avoid, and move away from them. It’s not racism. It’s intelligence recognizing its opposite, coupled with poor impulse control, violent tendencies, etc.

      There is nothing to be done other than removing incentives for the genetic and social undertow to breed, and get back to rewarding high-functioning capacities. We have to stop agreeing to pay for breeding idiocy.

  • Raymond Kidwell

    This is why I never got a real education in school. They had to keep lowering the standards so all the idiots could pass and get good grades.

  • TruthBeTold

    Didn’t Bloomberg have a program to pay kids to attend school? What became of that program? I’m sure it failed but does anyone have any information?

    • Ed

      Didn’t work, they thought that the mild success it enjoyed in Latin America meant it was transferable here. They always neglect culture.

    • dd121

      I don’t know. Liberals don’t talk about their failures.

      • rebelcelt

        They are too busy working on their next failure to reflect on why the last one failed.

  • mike j

    I’m baffled by this story. It’s easy to increase test scores and graduation rates, by fraud. Isn’t that how Rod Paige, superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, got to be Secretary of Education?

    • TruthBeTold

      There have been so many claims of minority successes that have later been exposed as cheating that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to cheat.

      • LexiconD1

        I graduated high school from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, CA. You know it better as the “Freedom Writers” school. I attended it during the years the book/film took place. It’s a complete LIE. First the school, at the time, sat in a VERY expensive area of town,. The parking lot had porches, and other expensive cars that the STUDENTS drove (felt kind deprived since I drove a fire engine red Pinto). It was academically the best school in the city. No one gave a crap what ‘color’ you were. No one was ostracised because of their skin color, or how much money their parents have, or didn’t have. Our prom Queen was a heaveily spackled (you could scrap the makeup off her face) Hispanic cheerleader, and the king was her football star Hispanic boyfriend.

        When reading the article about ‘Freedom Writers’, I thought they were referencing the two low performing schools, where the student bodies were/and still are comprised of the ‘diversity’. I, and my parents, were incredulous to find it was the same school I graduated from. I did not recognize it from the authors descriptions.

        You have no idea how incredible easy it is for ‘staff,’ and others, to lie about student achievements.

        • Spikeygrrl

          I’m trying — with no success so far — to visualize a parking lot with a porch. Photo please?

          • LexiconD1

            Stupid auto-correct.

        • Tim

          I used to tell people I was a victim of parental abuse growing up. I had to drive a Ford Pinto to high school… Our three in order were cockroach brown, baby blue and a sort of blood red…

          • dd121

            I was REALLY abused. I didn’t have any car. Had to ride the bus. Oh, the humiliation.

    • dd121

      And Atlanta and I’m sure others.

  • Reverend Bacon

    “Eli Broad was wrong …” said Diane Ravitch, the … activist. “He thought that management and charters could overcome poverty, and … he was wrong. The problems are deeper than he imagined.”

    “Diane Ravitch was wrong,” said Reverend Bacon, the realist. “She thought that free money could overcome a poverty of intelligence, and she was wrong. The problems are deeper than she could even have imagined imagining.”

    • Ed

      Diane and actually come off as a realist of course she’s a liberal so can never go full out. Still she’s better than most, including Jeb Bush like conservatives on this topic.

      • No. In her mind the problem is the ephemeral spectre of “poverty” she’s not even remotely close to being a realist, for that to be true she would have had to say something along the lines of what the good Reverend Dr. Bacon said above.

        Although i imagine just about anyone (or anything) would be better than a bush

  • Rhialto

    Liberals control schooling in America, and Liberals consider Liberal indoctrination as the main goal of schooling.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    With districts coping with entrenched poverty, slashed budgets, testing scandals and growing opposition to new academic standards and testing, low student IQ, progress has been difficult impossible, some education experts said.

    Can I have the million dollars now that I’ve solved the great mystery as to why the achievement gap hasn’t budged?

    • withcaution

      Low IQ? You fool! Also the sun orbits the earth!

    • You forgot a completely separate black culture in which actually doing schoolwork is derided as “acting white”. Arguably this is also the result of their low IQs, but it can only exacerbate the effect.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    “He thought that management and charters could overcome poverty, and his cancellation of the prize is his admission that he was wrong. The problems are deeper than he imagined.”

    I agree that this billionaire was wrong to assume that poor management and poverty cause failing urban schools; and I agree that the problems are deeper than the billionaire imagined. It seems as though he didn’t imagine that race is behind the failing schools and that his money can’t change that.

  • MBlanc46

    Nope, the needle hasn’t moved. Neither has black IQ.

  • Lygeia

    Are there no white schools in Appalachia that qualify?

    • Dr.Bazzi

      There to rich to qualify.

      • John Smith

        They’re too WHITE to qualify – FIFY.

        • Dr.Bazzi

          Yes, and most important; “they don’t matter”.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      I just made a similar comment here before I read your post. Those Libs would never allow a comparison model to exist like that. Where poor White kids in Appalachia were put on the same starting line as St. Louis kids, etc. That would be a big can of worms. And the White families don’t qualify for parental subsidies like non-Whites do. But, the West Virginian Whites would still pummel them–even with that lack-of-parent-subsidy arm tied behind their backs.

    • Charles Martel

      Eli Broad lives in LA and wants the good press that comes with spending his money in the local area.

  • Look_A_Squirrel

    When the test results have to be valid, no urban districts make the cut. Unlike in the years before the federal government got into our every day lives, urban schools full of impoverished immigrants were the best in the country.

  • willbest

    I am surprised an enterprising school district didn’t just jettison its worst performing students to charter schools in order to improve its standing and win the prize money.

    Incidentally, a friend of mine who works in CPS thinks that within 20 years CPS will consist of a couple dozen magnet schools with everybody else attending charter schools.

    • John Smith

      Or do the usual, cheat on the tests.

  • Alexandra1973

    The problem with urban schools is the urban youth. Gnomesayin’?

    • Charles Martel

      Yes, “din do nuffin” applies to homework assignments as well.

  • A Freespeechzone

    Without question, he will be called a racist for demanding minimum standards before he invests in these students.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a lawsuit claiming racist bias……just watch.

  • Christorchaos

    You cant get much deeper than that. “Dive deep!” as they say…

    • John Smith

      At the shallow end of the gene pool, though.

  • Alucard_the_last

    With 100% being the personal responsibility of the students and their families. DC is living proof that more money doesn’t equal results. At nearly 30,000$ per student, their scores are the lowest in the western world, not just America. When a group of ‘people’ shun education, then it is like casting pearls before swine to get them to learn.

    • John Smith

      Funny, but that’s around what it costs to support them when they go to prison in most states.

  • John Smith

    Garbage In, Garbage Out. It’s that f–king simple.

  • John Smith

    No goyim allowed, apparently.

  • archer

    The problems are that we have been importing low IQ third worlders and trying to make them assimilate into a first world school system, that is what she meant by having deeper problems.

  • Charles Martel

    She tried it in South Africa, with predictably awful results.

  • jwilders50

    “growing opposition to new academic standards and testing”

    So hilarious how liberals get angry with the tests when they don’t have outcomes they approve of. Must be the fault of the tests!

  • voiceofstl

    The Pinto was alot better then the vega.

  • dd121

    Not a chance.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    Jim Goad, Steve Sailer, and Gavin McInnes are in my top ten.

    Ann Coulter being number one, of course–ahem.

  • Olorin

    > The problems are deeper than he imagined.

    Yeah. Right down to the nucleotides.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    Eli Borad, wanna guess is he is a semite or not??

  • rebelcelt

    Our family was a victim of the Vega and its’ aluminum block engine. My older brother drove it.

  • Weisheit77

    “a professor and director of the doctorate of educational leadership”
    Am I the only person to notice that the average student gets progressively dumber the more Ed’s we have? They should get rid of every non-scientific degree in the university system that didn’t exist 40 years ago.

    Until Dec. I worked 5 years in higher education in a school. Let me decode “Leadership” for you. It’s a degree in “Social Justice Warrior”.

    I honestly heard a blonde graduate student (the stereo typical ones) tell a cohort leader that he needed to work on his group’s leadership education and that “doesn’t mean just another recycling project.” I can’t repeat on this family website what I suggested to the cohort leader as a joke.

  • Paleoconn

    No better than the African charities, apparently.