African-Americans inarguably have one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates. Some of it may be attributed to a weakened economy and, if one is being honest, in more than a few instances, racial discrimination. But the most critical factor is likely an inadequate level of education and training. In remarks delivered at the opening of the National Urban League’s annual conference on July 25, President Obama announced a plan that aims to close the education achievement gap for African-American students and ensure that they have greater access “to a complete and competitive education from the time they’re born all through the time they get a career.”
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans, created by an executive order the president signed today, will operate within the U.S. Department of Education and work with the president’s office and other federal agencies “to identify evidence-based best practices to improve African-American students’ achievement in school and college, and to develop a national network of individuals, organizations and communities that will share and implement these practices,” a senior administration official told BET.com.