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President Obama Announces Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge

“Graduation is an important moment for anyone.”

On February 18, President Obama announced a new Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge open to all public high schools around the country. The winning high school will have President Obama deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2010.

“Graduation is an important moment for anyone,” the president said in a video airing on the White House’s website. “But a high school diploma is also important to our success as a nation.”

According to the guidelines of the challenge, schools are encouraged to show how they are “making great strides” on personal responsibility, academic excellence, and college readiness. The application consists of four essay questions that focus on demonstrating how the high school is helping prepare students to meet the president’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

High school principals must submit applications no later than March 15 and each school may submit only one application. More information on the challenge, including the application form, is available at

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.