Obama’s Education Initiatives for Blacks –

President Barack Obama has called for an initiative to improve the educational outcome for African Americans.

The purpose of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans is to make sure black people receive the quality education needed to prepare them for college and a career.

Obama’s announcement came in a recent address to the National Urban League’s annual conference in New Orleans, where the President spoke about the disparity between black students and their counterparts, noting student achievement among blacks “lags behind that of their domestic peers by an average of two grade levels.” In addition, he said, more than one-third of black students do not graduate from high school on time with a regular diploma; and only 4% of black high school graduates interested in college are actually college-ready across a range of subjects.

The initiative will create a President’s Advisory Commission, as well as an interagency working group consisting of senior officials from various federal departments.

This initiative is intended to complement the White House’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities initiative, enacted in Feb. 2010. The HBCU initiative was created to strengthen those institutions’ ability to offer quality education to its students.

The National Urban League, a civil rights organization with a long history of helping to provide educational services to low-income minority students, has expressed support for the President’s initiative.

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