With National Principals Month in full swing, NASSP would like to give special recognition to one of its members this week. On Monday, October 17, Principal Anita Berger hosted President Obama, Secretary of Education John King, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. All were gathered to hear President Obama give a speech touting improved high school graduation rates.

Beforebanneker-visit-pic-1 a crowd of students, the president announced that America’s high school graduation rates rose for the fourth consecutive year in 2015, reaching a new record high of 83.2 percent. The president also noted that the District of Columbia had the biggest one-year improvement in on-time graduation rates for any state, jumping from 61.4 percent in 2014 to 68.5 percent in 2015.

However, while these numbers are improving, the president did say that there is work still to be done. He challenged everyone to continue advancing educational opportunities for all students, stating, “We all have a part to play in making sure every single child has every single opportunity to achieve his or her dreams.” He paid special recognition to Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in this regard, as it posted a graduation rate of 100 percent for its senior class last year.

NASSP applauds the president’s work to improve graduation rates and his foresight to realize that there is still much work to be done. During National Principals Month it is important that school leaders make their voices heard so that government representatives know what is necessary to continue improving graduation rates for all students.

NASSP wants to once again congratulate Principal Anita Berger and the students of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School on their outstanding achievements. For more information on high school graduation rate statistics or the Obama administration’s education policy efforts, click here.

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