Banneker High, located in Northwest Washington across the street from Howard University, is one of several selective-admissions public high schools in the District. Enough of its 450 students are low-income that all receive free lunch, but the school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate.
Obama previously visited Banneker in September 2011, giving a back-to-school speech that focused less on policy than on personal advice to students. You’ve got to work hard in school, he told them. But you’ve also got to take time to wonder, explore, and “color outside of the lines.”
“That’s what school is for,” Obama said at the time. “Discovering new passions, acquiring new skills, making use of this incredible time that you have to prepare yourself and give yourself the skills that you’re going to need to pursue the kind of careers that you want.”