The second annual Race to the Top commencement challenge, which did not create quite the frenzy this year that the White House may have wanted, is in the final stretches. Six finalist high schools have been named, and now you can vote for your favorite online after watching their videos and reading their essays. The deadline to vote is Friday, and the top three vote-getters will be named May 2. President Obama, who will give a graduation speech at the winning school, will pick among the three.
The six finalists are: Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Wash., Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, High Tech High International in San Diego, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, School for Creative and Performing Arts, Science Park High School in Newark, N.J., and Wayne Early Middle College High School in Goldsboro, N.C.
Last year, more than 1,000 schools applied as part of this competition. This year, even after the deadline was extended and the applications made a little bit easier, the number of schools vying for a presidential visit fell to about 400. According to Politico, Education Secretary Arne Duncan attributed the lackluster response to a lack of promotion by the White House.
Here’s a highlight video about the six finalists: