Washington — Cumberland County Schools won $150,000 in college scholarships Wednesday for its high school seniors, but it lost out on a national award for urban school districts.
The Houston Independent School District in Texas captured the 2013 Broad Prize, which recognizes the urban district that demonstrates the strongest student achievement and improvement while reducing achievement gaps amount low-income and minority students.
Cumberland County was one of three runners-up for the prize, joining districts in San Diego and Riverside, Calif.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who awarded the prize during a ceremony at the Library of Congress, said Cumberland County has shown annual 4 percentage point increases in its graduation rate in recent years and has used various strategies to put overall student achievement on a positive trajectory.
Winning the Broad Prize would have meant $550,000 in scholarships for high school seniors, but each of the runners-up received $150,000 in scholarships.