On July 26, 2012, President Obama launched his official White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans. The program is designed to help children of color succeed in education and life in general. Obama’s point person for the program is Executive Director David Johns.
The Initiative aims to ensure that all African-American students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion and productive careers.
This is a major part of the President’s goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates worldwide by 2020. In addition to the Education Initiative, the President’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program wants to assist young black and Latino achieve their educational goals by providing additional funding to existing programs. Obama’s first education summit will begin this month at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
As part of the program, he plans to increase the number of African-American teachers, especially males, as well as the number of African-American children enrolled in quality childcare and pre-school programs.
According to the White House’s website, the Initiative on Education Excellence plans to:
• Increase the percentage of African-American children who enter kindergarten ready for success by improving access to high-quality early learning and development programs;
• Ensure that all African-American students have access to high-level, rigorous course work and support services that will prepare them for college, a career, and civic participation;
• Provide African-American students with equitable access to effective teachers and principals in pursuit of a high-quality education, and support efforts to improve the recruitment, preparation, development, and retention of successful African-American teachers and principals;
• Promote a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools, and decrease the disproportionate number of referrals to special education by addressing root causes of the referrals;
• Reduce the dropout rate of African-American students and increase the proportion of African-American students who graduate from high school prepared for college and career;
• Increase college access, college persistence, and college attainment for African-American students;
• Strengthen the capacity of institutions of higher education that serve large numbers of African-American students, including community colleges, HBCUs, Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and other institutions;
• Improve the quality of, and expand access to, adult education, literacy, and career and technical education.