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Riverside County minority students finalists for academic prize

The Corona-Norco Unified School District was named as a finalist Wednesday for the prestigious Broad Prize, which honors academic excellence by minority and low-income students in urban districts across the nation.

The Riverside County district is one of four that are finalists for the prize to be announced in October. The winning district will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for seniors in the class of 2013. The other three will each receive $150,000 in scholarships.

The prize is awarded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

"Urban school districts across this country have much more work to do to help students of all backgrounds thrive academically," said billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad in a statement. "These four school districts can be proud that they are paving the way by demonstrating that students of all backgrounds can achieve if they are given equal opportunities to learn."

Districts cannot apply for the award. Researchers determine improvement in several areas of student performance and compare student achievement among various districts with similar demographics.

The four finalists made greater strides among their Latino and African American student populations in taking the SAT, ACT and advanced placement courses from 2008 to 2011, performance on state tests and graduation rates, according to a release.

The Garden Grove Unified School District won the prize in 2004 and the Long Beach Unified School District won in 2003.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

 
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