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The White House selected six finalists:
* Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kansas)
* Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)
* Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver, Colorado)
* Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, California)
* Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
* MAST Academy (Miami, Florida)
The administration is encouraging the public to go to the White House web site to review the schools and cast a ballot with the following criteria in mind:
* Educational success of the school as an example for other high schools around the country;
* The ability of the school to engage students in learning and to foster personal responsibility and academic excellence; and
* The success of the school in preparing students to graduate college and be career-ready, to help meet the President's 2020 goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation in the world.
The winner, announced May 4, will get a presidential graduation speech.
Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.
The commencement contest is part of the administration's overall Race to the Top competition. States are competing for $4.35 billion of stimulus money Congress set aside for education last year. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's office awarded the first $600 million to Tennessee and Delaware in late March and expects to pick at least 10 new winners in September.
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