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Obama Made the Right Choice to Speak at the First Black High School in Memphis

Booker T. Washington High School beat out over 450 other schools to get President Obama as a commencement speaker.

\n\n\n\n\n Congratulations are in order for Memphis, Tennessee's Booker T. Washington High School. The school is the winner of the 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. President Obama will head there later this spring to deliver the graduation speech.

Booker T. Washington opened its doors in 1873 and was the first public high school in segregated Memphis that black students were allowed to attend. As the school's finalist video details, in recent years the 500-student campus has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles—98 percent of students live in poverty and 20 percent of student's homes were lost when a housing project was demolished—and increased the graduation rate from 55 to 82 percent.

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What If the Notorious B.I.G. Hadn't Dropped Out of High School?

Rapper Christoper Wallace was murdered 14 years ago today. He dropped out of school in 1989, and his Brooklyn high school is still a dropout factory.


The name "Christopher Wallace" has been in Twitter's top ten trending topics today. That's because it's the 14th anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.'s unsolved 1997 murder. His superior lyrics and flow still garner him a top spot on virtually every "Greatest Rappers of All Time" list. But, despite his talent with words, the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, native was a high school dropout.

Wallace didn't drop out because he wasn't smart. In fact, he was known throughout his middle school years at the Roman Catholic Queen of All Saints Middle School as a high-achieving, excellent student. No surprise, he was a stand-out in English class and even won several awards. He initially attended a parochial school, Bishop Loughlin Memorial, for high school but later switched to the public George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High. At Westinghouse, Wallace was chronically truant and, in 1989 at the age of 17, he left school to sell drugs.

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