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Six Finalists Named for Race to Top (the Other Race)

OK, you've heard a lot lately about the Race to the Top competition between states (and the Race to the Top Assessment program). Today, I'm going to update you on another race that's far more important—at least to some high school seniors, anyway: The Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Education last week announced six finalists among U.S. high schools for a chance to have President Obama speak at their graduation ceremony.

The finalists are:

• Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kan.);
• Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati);
• Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver);
• Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, Calif.);
• Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Mich.); and
• MAST Academy (Miami).

Congratulations!

For the record, two of the six finalists are charter schools (the schools in Denver and Lawndale, Calif.) and another, MAST Academy, is a magnet school. Only public schools were eligible for the competition.

And by the way, not sure if I missed it last time, but the April 9 White House announcement described this as an "annual" event, so schools that didn't make the cut will get another chance next year.

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