Tension Mounts at High Tech High in Point Loma While Waiting Word From President Obama

by on May 9, 2011 · 5 comments

in Education, Popular, San Diego

It’s tension time for the students, parents, and faculty at High Tech High, Point Loma’s well-known charter high school, as they await word whether President Obama will give their graduation speech this Spring.

High Tech High International, located in Liberty Station in the old NTC, is one of three finalists in a nation-wide contest partially sponsored by the White House.  The competition’s goal is to highlight the president’s program promoting schools with high proportions of college graduates.

The school was supposed to learn Monday, May 9th, whether they won or not, but received word that the decision has been put off at least until Tuesday the 10th.  The reason for the delay was not given by the White House.

The school has an incredible 100 percent college acceptance rate, with programs centered on project-based learning – which means many courses have little or no textbooks and topics are taught with real life application.

The contest required high school students to produce videos and essays  describing how they are well prepared for college and careers by their schools.

Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis and Bridgeport High School in a rural district of Washington state are the other two finalist schools.

An inner-city school with a history of violence, Booker T Washington High, pulled itself up over the last four years from a graduation rate that once was 55% and which is now a staggering 82%, while it dealt with its attendant problems of high teen pregnancy and high HIV/AIDS rates.

Bridgeport High School has a 100% graduation rate  and this year’s graduates have been accepted by colleges, while being a school in a poor, rural area with a student population of 90%  Latino.

Even if the decision doesn’t go their way, High Tech students know that it has been quite an honor to get this far – they are still one of the top three  finalists in the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Annie May 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

That is so cool! When I was at State, I had a multimedia journalism project where I went and interviewed a teacher and students there. I was so impressed by every single one of those kids: They made I contact. They helped my find the teacher and classroom I was looking for. They OFFERED to help me find the teacher and classroom I was looking for. I know that sounds like a normal mode of operation for most people, but it’s really not for most teenagers. Anyway, I hope the best for them, and congratulate them on how far they’ve gotten so far!


avatar thinking out loud May 10, 2011 at 8:22 am

I called yesterday to be put on the media list for the ceremony …the phone system is so ” high tech” it said in a recorded voice ” we have determined you are calling from a rotary phone we only accept calls from digital push button phones” …….whats up with that ??


avatar mr fresh May 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

the peeps on da tweets this morning are sayin’ they didn’t make it. translation: the memphis school was chosen: http://bit.ly/iwT9q3


avatar Frank Gormlie May 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm

SignOnSanDiego says:

The White House announced Tuesday that Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis won the contest, beating out both High Tech and Bridgeport High School in rural Washington.


avatar Andy Cohen May 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

It’s a shame that High Tech High didn’t earn the ultimate prize, but to be one of three finalists from a list of thousands……..AMAZING! I’m gonna have to read up on Washington High and why it was chosen…….I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that it’s a normal public school and not a charter that has still managed to reverse its fortunes and the fortunes of its students. Pretty remarkable when you think about it.

But High Tech High is setting new academic and achievement standards here in San Diego. It’s great that they’ve gotten the recognition for it. Now if only they had a football team…….;-)


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