The White House's new Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which addresses the alarming under-performance of African-American students, is a game changer for millions of black students. Black males, who continue to lag behind their peers, will be particularly helped by this Initiative.
The strategy for the Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement has always been to ensure black students, particularly young black males, receive an education that fully equips them to excel academically, graduate from high school and college, and be career ready.
The White House initiative affirms our support of organizations and projects like The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, Eagle Academy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Young Men's Initiative, and others working to provide black male students with high quality education through equitable access to effective teachers and principals and positive school climates. It also validates our support of work to increase the capacity of higher education institutions that serve large numbers of African American students, including community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, predominantly black institutions, and others.
We hope the announcement will encourage others in philanthropy and in the public and private sectors to seize this opportunity to work together locally and nationally to improve the educational outcomes of African American and all students.
We also hope this initiative will play a key role in addressing school policies that have a disparate impact on black males like discipline policies that push students out of school, widen the achievement gap, and increase the likelihood of kids dropping out of school.
We strongly believe that in order to improve educational success for all American children, regardless of race and gender, we must place a special emphasis on helping black male students succeed. The Initiative for Educational Excellence for African Americans is a great step towards advancing these goals.