Will It Work? Obama Launches Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

July 26, 2012  |  

Source: blogs.cfr.org

For those who have been complaining about the lack of attention President Obama has paid to African Americans while in office, the time has come. At the National Urban League’s annual convention in New Orleans last night, the president announced a new White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans that, according to NBC, will:

“work across Federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students.”

About 3,700 people were in the crowd as President Obama explained the purpose of the effort was to improve educational opportunities for black children at all levels,

“so every child has greater access to a complete and competitive education from the time they’re born to the time, all through the time they get a career,” he said.

The Education Department will oversee the initiative, working with the Executive Office and other Cabinet agencies to identify practices that will improve African Americans’ achievement in schools and colleges, NBC said. The executive order for the plan is expected to be signed today, at which point more details about the effort and how much funding it will receive will be made public.

This initiative comes not a moment too soon with nearly weekly reports about discrimination black students are experiencing in school, Detroit parents suing the school system because of the low level at which their children read, evidence that African American children receive more strict punishments than their non-minority counterparts, and data from the National Center for Education Statistics showing the dropout rate for African American students ages 16 to 25 was 8 percent in 2010, which is 3 percent higher than that of white students. The President said those things can no longer continue.

“A higher education in a 21st century cannot be a luxury,” he remarked at the convention. “It is a vital necessity that every American should be able to afford.”

Let’s hope this initiative will make that more of a reality for African American children. Do you think it will?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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  • Retsnom

    Nothing racist or equal under the law with this mandate bypassing the congress and pandering for votes in an election year….. LOLS

  • dcarter910

    I am going to be that person that complains!!! Why “like slaves on a plantation are negros always waiting for the answer to their problems to come from the White House (see masters mansion)?”. No one here with higher education will credit it with some kind of policy that came from the white house. When given the opportunity to go to school for free, and when PARENTS (not hood rats, welfare junkies (see movie Precious)) decide they want their children to excel academically then black people will do better. Negros are always looking for ways to push their responsibility for parenting, cultivating morals and values off on other institutions such as governments and their local church. Stop living in denial and start addressing the true problem (Take a look in the mirror), as anyone on this forum that have obtain a measure of success has picked up and left the hood/ghetto because you know that forcing welfare junkies, hoodrats to be responsible parent/citizens is a hopeless causes even for those of you who have these people as family members.

  • I have to agree with those in previous comments, that this is a tremendous step forward for us as community. My issue is this though, how many of us will be down for this cause and are willing to stand behind Pres. Obama? How many of us are going to gripe and complain and throw a tantrum? I truly believe that we as black people need to really get it together and band together to make this thing happen. There are too many of our children that are being left by the wayside and hung out to dry for us to act more ignorant than some of us already are & not support this. I’m down, are you?

    • dcarter910

      The more tools government gives the black community for success which does not result in success (because the problem is with black people not a lack of opportunity), the more shameful it is that black people fall behind in society especially in the face of poor hispanics that climbed across the border and other immigrants that move here and out perform blacks. This is not a step forward, because the more help a people need to address their “own” problems the more it weakens their self-esteem/belief that the answer to their problems can be found by themselves. It creates a system of moral and self-esteem dependency where the answer is always “Why isnt the government doing more, rather than why the hell am (I) not doing more to fix my problems”.

      Slavery is dependency on someone else/something else for basic to include food(welfare), shelter (section 8) and in this case self-respect in bedded in a persons belief that they can fix/reslove their own problems (government legislation)

  • dontdoit

    I am so pleased by this!

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    I’m glad he did it. Now I’m waiting for the complaints from black folk that he waited too late and the complaints from conservatives that he’s only out for black people. . .

    • I’m pretty sure there are some right now that are boiling mad. As for those ignorant African Americans who have nothing better to do than complain, my suggestion to y’all is to shut up and vote. Point blank

  • Anonymous

    This is a step forward. Watch, black people still complain about him not doing anything for them or why he didn’t do this the first day he got into office. Listen, he’s not the President of black people neither is he going to hand you checks, higher education is the best way to do it and this applies to everybody. If you don’t want to go to school, do something better with your life or stay where you are at on social security but don’t blame President or anyone else for your problems. There are children who came from dysfunctional households, parent can’t help with homework but they were determined, with the limited resources offered to help them to get far in life. If you have a drive inside of you, it will get you far in spite of your situation or circumstance. Now, it’s up to parent to make decision to be better because they have a role to play. It’s only so much the president can do, and his effort is much appreciated. Black on black crime, babydaddy/babymama drama, single parent household, the high number of incarcerated black men and the high rise of HIV/AIDS is up to individual and the community to make a difference.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself!!! CHURCH

    • dcarter910

      If more people in the black community thought like you and left their “pathetic dependency on government” behind, then the black community would be #1 in america.

      • Negroes like you keep the black community held back because you think that those of us who happen to agree w/ something that benefits us is something that will hinder us. STFU!

  • jason vorhees

    This is a good thing…no a GREAT thing. There will be a few problems though. As all educated people know education starts at home. What do we do about households where the parent doesnt or cant help with homework and extracurricular studies? What can this initiative do to drive students to WANT to do good in school?