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.