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Help Decide Which High School Gets Obama as a Commencement Speaker

Six high schools are competing for the President to be their graduation speaker, and it's (partially) up to a public vote.


As part of the "Race to the Top Commencement Challenge," some lucky high school is going to have President Obama speak on campus on graduation day. A public vote, happening this week, will take the current pool of six finalists down to three semi-finalists, and then the President will choose the final winner himself.

Each of the schools—Booker T. Washington High School (Memphis, Tennessee); Bridgeport High School (Bridgeport, Washington); High Tech High International (San Diego); Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, School for Creative and Performing Arts (Pittsburgh); Science Park High School (Newark, New Jersey) and Wayne Early Middle College High School (Goldsboro, North Carolina)—made brief videos and wrote short essays spotlighting what makes them unique—whether its diversity, overcoming poverty, or an innovative curriculum.

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Could One Hour of Therapy Boost Black Student Achievement?

A new study suggests confidence building psychological exercises can help close the achievement gap


Could one hour—the amount of time it takes to watch American Idol—make black college freshman more likely to succeed in college and close the racial achievement gap? Two Stanford University professors say yes, as long those students spend that hour doing confidence building psychological exercises that make them feel like they actually belong on campus.

In a new paper published in the March 18 edition of Science, Gregory Walton, an assistant professor of psychology, and Geoffrey Cohen, a professor of psychology and education, say a sense of belonging is especially essential for black students who are underrepresented on campus and face a slew of negative stereotypes about their intelligence. Walton told the Stanford News that when a student comes from a minority background,

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