Over the past few days, more than 170,000 people weighed in on the six finalists in the White House Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. The race was neck and neck with all of the schools finishing within half a point of one another.
The top three finalists, in no particular order are:
The next step in the Challenge is for President Obama to choose which school to visit and deliver the commencement address at later this spring. The final winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 4. We are working with all of the six finalist schools to have a Cabinet secretary or senior administration official deliver the commencement address if they are not selected by the President.
We launched the Commencement Challenge to give public high schools around the country a chance to show President Obama what they are made of, and how they are challenging their students to excel in academics, take personal responsibility for their education, and graduate high school ready for college and career. Over a thousand schools submitted outstanding applications that are testament to the great work happening in public schools around the country.
Each of the six finalists in the Commencement Challenge - Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, KS, Clark Montessori in Cincinnati, OH, Denver School of Science and Technology in Denver, Colorado, Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, CA, Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI and MAST Academy in Miami, FL- are extraordinary schools and each has worked incredibly hard over the past few months to demonstrate the unique aspects of their school. I am so proud of these schools.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Commencement Challenge! Be sure to check back on Tuesday to find out which school the President will visit.
Heather Higginbottom is a Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.