Tag Archives: Booker T. Washington High School

President Obama Praises School Effort

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.

Commencement Challenge Winner

Today, the White House announced the winner of the 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis Tennessee, will host President Obama as their 2011 commencement speaker on May 16, 2011.

The Commencement Challenge invites public high schools throughout the country to share how their school prepares them for college. The application includes essay questions and statistical information, as well as a video submission. The public voted on the top six schools. President Obama chose the winner from the three finalists – Booker  Washington, Bridgeport High School and High Tech High International – which received the highest ratings.

Congratulations to Booker  Washington High School, the finalists, and all of the hig school graduates embarking on their bright future.

President Obama’s High School Commencement Challenge

Today is the last day to rate the finalists in  President Obama’s High School Commencement Challenge. Six high schools are contending for the honor of having the president speak at their graduation ceremony.

Booker T. Washington High School
Memphis, TN

Bridgeport High School
Bridgeport, WA

High Tech High International
San Diego, CA

Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, School for Creative and Performing Arts
Pittsburgh, PA

Science Park High School
Newark, NJ

Wayne Early/Middle College High School
Goldsboro, NC

After watching each school’s three-minute video and reading their short essay, give each school a rating of 1-5 (1 is the lowest, 5 is the highest). At the end of the rating period (April 29, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. EDT), the three schools with the highest average ratings will be submitted to President Obama for final selection.

Check out the finalists at The White House website.