Montgomery County finalist for the Broad prize
Last week, Montgomery County's public school system was named a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education, which is a prestigious award given each year to a school system that makes significant gains in its overall performance as well as reducing acheivement gaps.
The finalists are chosen from a committee that looks at about 100 school systems nationwide. Montgomery is the first school system in the region to be named a finalist.
The award comes at a somewhat awkward time for education leaders around the state who are trying to persuade the county to come around and support Maryland's application for Race to the Top.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced that only Delaware and Tennesee were the winners in the first round of the biggest reform giveway in education in the U.S. The two states apparently won, in part, because they had gotten all their school districts to sign on to the application. Maryland can hardly maintain that it will have unity among its school systems to carry out progressive, sometimes contentious reforms, if its biggest school district doesn't agree to sign on. Right now Montgomery isn't in the game.