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Education Funding News in Brief

Obama at Your Graduation?

By Michele McNeil — March 01, 2011 1 min read

School districts have until March 11 to compete for the chance to have President Barack Obama deliver a high school graduation address as part of the White House’s Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, now in its second year.

The White House extended the deadline, originally Feb. 25, to give more schools the chance to apply. Officials would not release the number of applications received so far.

Last year, President Obama delivered the commencement speech at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, the winner among a field of 1,000 applicants and six finalists. Those finalists created short videos and essays on how their schools were preparing them for the future. More than 170,000 people then voted online for their favorites. The president chose the winner from among the top three vote-getters.

The process this year is similar, although the White House has simplified some parts of the application, such as making some data points optional. Applicants still have to answer such questions as: “Describe specific ways in which your school has prepared you for college and a career,” and “Why should your school win? Discuss what makes your school unique.”

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A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Obama at Your Graduation?

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