The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools have announced DSST Public Schools in Denver, Colorado, as the winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools.
Announced at the National Charter Schools Conference in Austin, Texas, the prize, which comes with a $250,000 cash award to be used for college-readiness efforts, honors a large urban charter school system that has demonstrated outstanding academic outcomes, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. The other finalists for the prize, now in its seventh year, were Achievement First, which operates thirty-four schools in five cities across Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island, and Uncommon Schools, which won the prize in 2013 and now operates fifty-two schools in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.
A finalist for the 2017 prize, DSST operates thirteen secondary schools serving a total of fifty-three hundred students, 66 percent of whom receive free or reduced-price lunches and 81 percent of whom are students of color. DSST was recognized for its track record of 100 percent of graduates being accepted to four-year colleges or universities for ten consecutive years, while in 2016-17 its students, on average, exceeded the ACT college readiness benchmark across all demographic groups. The review board also cited DSST's status as a "diverse-by-design" network that has created an engaging environment for students who reflect the communities in which DSST schools are located.
"DSST is a great example of the much-desired and elusive combination: a network that ensures outstanding results for all types of students while growing to serve more students," said Macke Raymond, director of CREDO at Stanford University and a member of the review board. "They have cracked the code for success."