Remember, Aldine -- it's an honor just to be nominated. It's an honor just to be nominated. It's an honor just to be nominated.
That's what school district officials will have to keep repeating to themselves as once again they have been denied the $1 million Broad Prize in Urban Education.
For the third time in the six-year history of the award, Aldine was one of five finalists for the nationwide competition, only to attend the ceremony and hear another district's name announced as the winner (This year, Brownsville).
"We're disappointed we didn't win, of course, but we're grateful for the $250,000 we did win and we're happy for Brownsville, of course," district spokesman Mike Keeney tells Hair Balls.
(Being a classy finalist is second-nature by now to AISD.)
The contest's founder trieed to assuage the pain in a press release:
"Aldine has made consistent student gains, particularly by Hispanic, African-American and low-income students," said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. "While all large urban school districts in America have more work to do, the Aldine community can be proud that they continue to outpace other urban American school districts. We hope that other districts learn from Aldine's success."
Each finalist does get a quarter-million, up from $125,000 in previous years, to spend on scholarships. So a "loss" isn't that hard to take.
Still, each year involves attending a ceremony in New York, waiting tensely for the winner to be announced...and then plastering on that fake smile that Susan Lucci mastered.
"We just gotta get over the hump one of these years," Keeney says.
Maybe -- as he's no doubt heard before -- next year.
-- Richard Connelly