Full Text Obama Presidency July 26, 2012: President Barack Obama’s New Launches Initiative to Improve Educational Outcomes for African Americans

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama launches African-American education initiative

Source: CNN, 7-25-12
President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced an initiative he said will give African-American students greater access “to a complete and competitive education from the time they’re born all through the time they get a career.”…READ MORE

President Obama Signs New Initiative to Improve Educational Outcomes for African Americans

Source: WH, 7-26-12

Executive Order Establishes the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

On Wednesday, during his remarks at the National Urban League conference in New Orleans, LA, President Obama announced he would sign an Executive Order today to improve outcomes and advance educational opportunities for African Americans.

The President has made providing a complete and competitive education for all Americans – from cradle to career – a top priority.  The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will work across Federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students.  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.

In the nearly 60 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision put America on a path toward equal educational opportunity, America’s educational system has undergone a remarkable transformation.  Many African American children who attended substandard, segregated schools in the 1950s have grown up to see their children attend integrated and effective elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities.  Nonetheless, substantial obstacles to equal educational opportunity still remain in America’s educational system.  African American students lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline and referrals to special education.

Significantly improving the educational outcomes of African Americans will provide substantial benefits for our country by advancing important outcomes, like increasing college completion rates, employment rates, and the number of African American teachers.  Enhanced educational outcomes for African Americans will lead to more productive careers, improved economic mobility and security, and greater social well-being for all Americans.

Advancing Educational Achievement of African American Students

The President has set the goal for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. To reach this ambitious goal, and to ensure equality of access and opportunity in education for all Americans, the Obama Administration is dedicating new resources, through rigorous and well-rounded academic and support services, to enable African American students to improve their educational achievement and prepare for college and career.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, housed within the Department of Education, will work with the Executive Office of the President and Cabinet agencies to identify evidence-based best practices to improve African American student achievement in school and college, and to develop a national network of individuals, organizations, and communities that will share and implement these practices.  It will also help ensure that Federal programs and initiatives administered by the Department of Education and other Federal agencies maintain a focus on serving and meeting the educational needs of African Americans. The Initiative will complement the existing White House Initiative that strengthens the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by working with Federal agencies and partners nationwide to provide all African American students with a more effective continuum of education programs.

To deliver a complete and competitive education for all African Americans, the Initiative will promote, encourage, and undertake efforts designed to meet several objectives, including:

• Increasing the percentage of African American children who enter kindergarten ready for success by improving access to high-quality early learning and development programs;
• Ensuring 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;
• Providing African American students with equitable access to effective teachers and principals in pursuit of a high-quality education, and supporting efforts to improve the recruitment, preparation, development, and retention of successful African American teachers and principals;
• Promoting a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools, and decreasing the disproportionate number of referrals to special education by addressing root causes of the referrals;
• Reducing the dropout rate of African American students and increasing the proportion of African American students who graduate from high school prepared for college and career;
• Increasing college access, college persistence, and college attainment for African American students;
• Strengthening 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; and
• Improving the quality of, and expanding access to, adult education, literacy, and career and technical education.

The Presidential Advisory Commission and Federal Interagency Working Group to Enhance Educational Outcomes for African American Students

The Executive Order also creates the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, to aid and advise the work of the Initiative. The Commission will advise President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on matters pertaining to the educational attainment of the African American community, including the development, implementation, and coordination of resources aimed at improving educational opportunities and outcomes for African Americans of all ages. The Commission will also engage the philanthropic, business, nonprofit, and education communities in a national dialogue on African American student achievement, and work with the Initiative to establish partnerships with stakeholders from these sectors to achieve the objectives of this Executive Order.

The Executive Order also establishes a Federal Interagency Working Group on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The Working Group will be chaired by the Initiative’s Executive Director, and will convene senior officials from the Executive Office of the President and several Cabinet and sub-Cabinet agencies to coordinate the Federal investment in education programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing outcomes for African Americans in early childhood education; elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; career and technical education; and adult education.

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Full Text Obama Presidency July 26, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Remarks Before Cabinet Meeting Urges Congress to Pass Middle-Class Tax Cuts Extension

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama Urges House to ‘Do The Right Thing’ on Tax Cuts

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-26-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama is urging the Republican-led House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and “do the right thing” to extend middle class tax cuts.
Speaking to reporters at a Cabinet meeting Thursday afternoon, the president praised the Senate for moving forward with his plan to extend the Bush-era tax rate for families earning less than $250,000 a year and let the rate expire for higher earners….READ MORE

Remarks by the President Before Cabinet Meeting

Source: WH, 7-26-12 

Cabinet Room

2:24 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, this is a good opportunity for me to bring my Cabinet together to thank them for the extraordinary work that they’re doing on a whole range of fronts.

You’ve got Tom Vilsack working very hard to make sure that farmers and ranchers are getting help at a time of devastating drought.

You have Secretary Clinton who has been logging more miles than any Secretary of State in history, dealing with a whole range of problems and opportunities around the globe.  Obviously, we’re going to be focusing a lot on the situation in Syria and what we can do there to make sure that we reduce the bloodshed.

But a whole range of Cabinet members and obviously my administration is focusing on our economy, and how do we make sure that this is an economy in which people who work hard, who act responsibly, can get ahead.

This is a particular challenge right now — we’re seeing some of the weaknesses in Europe — and it is a perfect time for us to focus on what are steps we can take now — not later, not a year from now, but right now — to strengthen the middle class, put more people back to work and provide business greater certainty.

And yesterday, the Senate voted to ensure that 98 percent of Americans don’t see their taxes go up next year, that 97 percent of small businesses don’t see their taxes go up next year.  It was the right thing to do.  It will provide certainty and security to families who are already being pinched because of the economy.  It will be good for the economy as a whole.

And now, the only thing that is going to prevent the vast majority of Americans from not seeing a tax increase next year is if the House doesn’t act.  We need 218 votes in the House of Representatives — 218 votes in the House of Representatives — to make sure that 98 percent of Americans don’t see their taxes go up next year.

And so one of the things that I’m going to be doing, my Cabinet members are going to be doing over the next several days is to make sure that the American people understand that we can provide them certainty right now for next year that their taxes will not go up, and that they will then be able to plan accordingly; small businesses will be able to plan accordingly, knowing that we’ve taken a whole bunch of uncertainty out of the economy at a time when the global economy is experiencing a number of disruptions.

So, again, I would urge the House of Representatives to do the right thing and I’m going to make sure that my Cabinet members amplify that message in the days to come.

Thank you very much, everybody.

Q    Mr. President, can you tell us, if what the Colorado shooter did was entirely legal, how do you do more on this subject without any new laws?

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I’m sure we’ll have more opportunity to talk about this.

Q    This afternoon is fine.  I’m available.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thanks.  I’ll ask Jay for your number.  (Laughter.)

END
2:27 P.M. EDT

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