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OUR VIEW: Broad Prize again looks at Gwinnett

When we lauded Gwinnett County Public Schools in September for being a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education, we didn't expect to be revisiting the subject so soon. But the school system was informed this week that it is again a finalist for the prestigious award.

For the second straight year, GCPS will vie with four other schools for top honors, which come with $1 million in scholarship money for students graduating in 2011. Last year, the district earned $250,000 in scholarship money, an amount each of the finalists is guaranteed to win again this year.

The award, sponsored by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, honors school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement, particularly for minority and low-income students. Other finalists include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, Montgomery County Publics Schools in Maryland, and Socorro Independent School District and Ysleta Independent School, both of El Paso, Texas.

Over the next two months, teams of educational researchers and practitioners will conduct visits at each of the systems up for the award and meet with teachers and principals as well parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives. A selection jury will later choose the winning district, which will be announced on Oct. 19 in New York City.

It is a familiar process for GCPS, which hopes the second time is the charm.