So I’m going to continue to work with members of both parties, and with religious groups and with civic organizations, to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction -- not just of gun violence, but violence at every level, on every step, looking at everything we can do to reduce violence and keep our children safe -– from improving mental health services for troubled youth -- to instituting more effective community policing strategies. We should leave no stone unturned, and recognize that we have no greater mission as a country than keeping our young people safe.In addition, the President said that today he would sign an executive order creating the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. I haven't seen the details on that one yet, but The Root got a preview from a senior administration official.
And as we do so, as we convene these conversations, let’s be clear: Even as we debate government’s role, we have to understand that when a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government alone can't fill. It’s up to us, as parents and as neighbors and as teachers and as mentors, to make sure our young people don’t have that void inside them.
It’s up to us to spend more time with them, to pay more attention to them, to show them more love so that they learn to love themselves -- so that they learn to love one another, so that they grow up knowing what it is to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes and to view the world through somebody else’s eyes. It’s up to us to provide the path toward a life worth living; toward a future that holds greater possibility than taking offense because somebody stepped on your sneakers.
That’s the difference that we can make in our children’s lives and in the lives of our communities. That’s the legacy we must leave for the next generation.
...the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will be a part of the Department of Education and will work with the president and Cabinet-level agencies "to identify evidence-based best practices to improve African-American students' achievement in school and college." It will also build a network of people, grassroots organizations and communities to share those practices.Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!! Its how you take the line "children are our future" from a campaign slogan to reality.
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.
"From allowing states to opt out of key No Child Left Behind provisions, introducing Race to the Top and releasing the Civil Rights Data Collection Report on educational disparities, President Obama continues to demonstrate the will to improve equity in education and access to college," remarked Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., a Howard University professor who is also contributing education editor for The Root.