bama presented an olive branch yesterday to critics who say he’s done little to help African-Americans, announcing the launch of an initiative that would single out for special attention our educational needs.
The announcement came yesterday during his totally under the radar speech to the National Urban League. Video of the president’s speech is available on the National Urban League’s website. The full-text of the speech is available on the website of AP reporter Jesse Washington.
About the initiative, the president said only this:
TheRoot.com interviewed an anonymous official from the Obama administration who told them that:
In addition, the executive order creates a presidential commission on educational advancement for African-American students, with commission members advising the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on broad-stroke strategies meant to enhance educational opportunities for black Americans of all ages.
A separate interagency working group will engage Cabinet agencies and senior officials at the White House in building programs “aimed at advancing outcomes for African Americans in early-childhood education; elementary, secondary and postsecondary education; career and technical education; and adult education,” the administration official said.
I have so many questions about this. How historic is it? What will be necessary for it to make a difference?
We need some education scholars to comment on this initiative. Meanwhile, sound-off.
How do you perceive this effort? Is it sufficient to counter criticism of the president’s relationship with African-Americans? Should it be expanded to include other people of color — Afro-Latinos and other Latinos, for example?