In his weekly address last Saturday, May 21, President Obama praised the progress that schools like Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis have made over the last several years. The president spoke at the school’s commencement last Monday, as won this year’s Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.
Within a city of crime and poverty, the school and the community, Obama said, “created a culture that prizes hard work and discipline, and that shows every student that they matter.”
Just a few years ago, about half of the students at Booker T. Washington graduated, and only a handful went off to college. Today, four out five of the school’s students graduate, and 70 percent continue their education.
“We need to encourage this kind of change all across America,” the president said. “We need to reward the reforms that are driven not by Washington, but by principals and teachers and parents. That’s how we’ll make progress in education – not from the top down, but from the bottom up.”
Read President Obama’s remarks here.