President Obama is committed to education and the potential it can unlock for future generations. To sow the seeds of encouragement, the White House has announced Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.
The competition challenges schools to show that they are making “great strides on personal responsibility, academic excellence and college readiness.” The school that proves they are going above and beyond to prepare kids for college will win the top prize: President Obama will come to their school to deliver the commencement speech at this year’s graduation.
While the contest will definitely be a fun activity for the schools that choose to enter, this competition is not all fun and games. The president is hoping to bring attention to the high dropout rate in America. According to GetSchooled.com, the Web site hosting the Commencement Challenge, a student drops out of school every 26 seconds, which translates into roughly 7,000 students dropping out every day.
The statistics become even more dire with one-third of students never finishing high school. “Of those who do graduate high school, half lack the skills to successfully complete community college. Most drop out of post-secondary education before receiving a certificate or diploma.”
The contest is open to all U.S. public high schools. Every school can only submit one application that must be filled out by the students and submitted by the school’s principal. The application consists of four essay questions that “focus on demonstrating how the school is helping prepare students to meet the President’s 2020 goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”
The applicants will be narrowed down by the White House and the Department of Education to six finalists. The finalists will then be featured on the President’s Web site where the nation will vote on the three that best match the President’s requirements. From there, the President himself will choose the winner. The contest deadline is March 15 at 11:59 EST, so schools interested in bringing home the top prize should hurry and fill out the application as the deadline is right around the corner. Good luck!
Get More information on the Get Schooled intiative.