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Top Grade for Garden Grove Unified

Education: The district is one of five national finalists for an achievement prize that will bring the winner $500,000 in scholarship funds.


Garden Grove Unified School District is one of five finalists for a new national education achievement award that will distribute $1 million in college scholarships.

The Broad Foundation, a Los Angeles organization that promotes achievement in urban public schools and sponsors the prize, will announce the winner Wednesday at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Garden Grove school officials said they already feel like winners.

"This is the result of the efforts of 5,000 on our staff who all combined to produce results," the district's board president, Bob Harden, said Wednesday. "We are one of the top five urban [school systems] in the entire country. That's a pretty good accomplishment."

The 50,000-student district will receive at least $125,000 in college scholarship funds reserved for the four runners-up. The winning district will receive $500,000.

The other finalists are Long Beach Unified School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Boston Public Schools and Houston Independent School District.

The Broad Foundation, founded in 1991 with an endowment from businessman Eli Broad and his family, unveiled the annual Broad Prize for Urban Education in March. The five finalists were chosen from a list of 100 large urban school districts. A review board looked at several factors, including test scores, attendance, dropout rates and achievement gaps between ethnic and socio-economic groups.

The winner and its teaching and management practices will be showcased by the foundation over the following year, officials said, to inspire other urban school systems.

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