Can the Latest Initiatives by President Obama Help Increase Black Achievement in Education?

Can the Latest Initiatives by President Obama Help Increase Black Achievement in Education

If President Obama’s new initiatives for boys and young men of color are to succeed, educators must find ways to help underperforming students thrive under Common Core, the new and more rigorous academic standards that schools in 45 states are beginning to implement.

That’s the assessment of Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and chair of a new commission working on behalf of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The commission and the initiative’s managers will launch their efforts at an education summit in Atlanta on March 28-29.

Leaders from Government, Academia and Corporations to Speak at Black Education Summit

White House officials, university presidents, corporate leaders, local elected officials and scholars are expected to attend the first White House Summit on Educational Excellence for African Americans at Morehouse College March 28-29.

The participants at the summit, to be co-hosted by Ebony magazine, will discuss ways to improve the academic performance and life prospects of black students.

David Johns, executive director of President Obama’s African-American educational excellence initiative, and Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will be among those representing the federal government.

Morehouse College President John Wilson and Beverly Tatum, president of Spellman College, will be among the higher education leaders scheduled to speak at the event.

Speaker panels will also include John Eaves, chair of the Fulton County Commission, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta Board of Education Chair Courtney English and executives from Coca Cola, Deloitte Consulting and Netflix.

“Common Core has the potential to have a very a positive impact on learning but we have to think about implementation,” Hrabowski says. “We need to give teachers the professional development they need to implement these new standards. Some schools may need to provide additional time and instruction to help [underperforming] students adjust – more after-school and summer programs.”

Hrabowski is widely credited for making UMBC a top national source of African-American postgraduate degrees in science and engineering. He supports the more challenging Common Core standards but says educators must also address the lingering achievement gap.

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Source: Washington Informer | George White

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