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Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge

Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, highlights the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.

Education in FocusHow many of you remember your high school commencement speaker? This year, public high schools across the country have an opportunity to invite one speaker their graduates will never forget. All you have to do is tell us how your school – more than any other – is preparing students for college and careers.

Education is one of the President's top priorities. President Obama set a goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, and we want to know what your school is doing to engage and motivate students, offer challenging academic opportunities, and provide the excellent education that you need to succeed in college and a job.

Today is a big day for the President’s Race to the Top program which is encouraging schools reach this goal. The Obama Administration has just announced the finalists for the first round of that competition. This year, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education have also teamed up to hold the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge, a separate competition with a different, but still very special prize for one great public high school.

The rules are easy: if you are a high school student, fill out the online application by March 15th, answer four questions about your school’s success, and provide some information that demonstrates that success. Your high school principal will submit your application on your school’s behalf – you can even submit a creative video to help make your case.

Schools from across the country are competing to welcome President Obama as their graduation speaker this spring. It’s not too late to participate. Join the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge today.

Heather Higginbottom is a Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council