Commencement Challenge

Rating the Finalists

On Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. EDT, public review and rating of the six high school finalists in President Obama’s High School Commencement Challenge will begin on A three-minute video and short essay from each school will highlight how it best satisfies the criteria of the Commencement Challenge. Visitors to the website can view each finalist’s video and written submission, presented in random order. For each school, visitors are encouraged to watch the video and read the essay question before deciding on a rating. Visitors will be allowed to rate the finalists on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 as the lowest rating and 5 as the highest). After a rating is submitted, the next school’s video and essay question will be presented for review and rating until all six schools have been viewed. The ability to rate videos will end at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 29, 2011.

Rating Criteria

Voters are encouraged to rank the finalists based on the criteria of the Commencement Challenge including:

  • Educational success of the school as an example for other high schools around the country;
  • The ability of the school to engage students in learning and to foster personal responsibility and academic excellence; and
  • The success of the school in preparing students to graduate college and career-ready, to help meet the President’s 2020 goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation in the world.

Determining the Winner

At the end of the rating period, the three schools with the highest average ratings will be submitted to President Obama for final selection.