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Washington — The White House is offering a challenge to high school students and the prize is the President speaking at your school.

The application deadline for the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge is March 11 – just five days away! The Commencement Challenge invites public high schools across the country to demonstrate how their school best prepares them for college and a career, helping America win the future by out-educating our competitors and achieving President Obama’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. President Obama will travel to the winning school to deliver their commencement address this spring!

Earlier today, Good Morning America ran a segment on the Commencement Challenge featuring Simon Boehme, a member of Kalamazoo Central’s class of 2010, last year’s Challenge winner, and Melody Barnes, Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Check out the video on .

Last week, musician John Legend was at the White House as part of the “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House” event, and he took a few moments to encourage high schools around the country to get involved in the Commencement Challenge:

Applying for the 2011 Commencement Challenge is easy. The application includes three short essays and readily available data from each school that illustrate how schools are promoting college and career readiness for all students while establishing a culture of student success and academic excellence. Applications must be submitted by Friday, March 11 at 11:59 pm EST. Apply today !


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