The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education
(L-R) David Levin, Deborah Bial, Dr. Shirley Reed & Chairman “Terry” McGraw
What is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize in Education,” the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of education. There are three individual award categories: one for elementary or middle school education, another for high school education and a prize for higher education. Now, in its 25th year, the winners received $50,000 in the grand surroundings of the expansive main rotunda of the 42nd Street Library in New York City.
Impressive and impassioned are apt descriptors of the awardees. Deborah Bial, Ed.D., is the President and founder of The Posse Foundation, a youth development organization which sends teams of students, or posses, to college together. Posse scholars have a 90 percent graduation rate and the foundation identified more than 4,800 students since it was founded in 1989. Bial earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
The second prize was awarded jointly to David Levin and Mike Feinberg, the founders of Knowledge Is Power (KIPP) foundation. Since KIPP was founded in 1994, the organization has expanded to support the growth of 142 schools with 49,000 students in over 20 states, including New York. Levin earned his degree from Yale University and Feinberg attended the University of Pennsylvania.
The third prize was awarded to Dr. Shirley A. Reed, the founding president of the South Texas College (STC), which educates and empowers 30,000 students today. The STC student body consists of 95 percent Hispanic student body; more than 70 percent of those are the first to attend college from their families. Reed has devoted over four decades to community college education, especially amongst Hispanic students. She was recently elected to serve on the American Association of Community Colleges.
A distinguished board of 13 judges included Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone, John Merrow, President and Education Correspondent of Learning Matters, PBS and James P. Comer, M.D., the Associate Dean of Yale School of Medicine and Yale Child Study Center.
Chairman Harold “Terry” McGraw, III, the president and CEO of McGraw-Hill underscored that this award was founded in honor of his father, Harold McGraw, Jr. a great believer in the value and power of education for everyone.#