Author Topic: President Obama Makes Strong Case for Education Reform at National Urban League  (Read 1043 times)

Offline Magic Wand

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1635
    • View Profile
August 4, 2010
President Obama Makes Strong Case for Education Reform at National Urban League Centennial Conference


Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League


On Thursday, July 29th, President Barack Obama delivered an important speech on education at the National Urban League's Centennial Conference in Washington, DC.  The President began by honoring the National Urban League for "opening up opportunity, rolling back inequality, and making our union just a little more perfect" during our first century of service.  He then used the bulk of his time to address one of the most important and controversial issues of his presidency - improving American education, increasing graduation rates, lifting up failing schools and closing the achievement gap that is leaving too many students of color behind.

At a time when 15 million Americans are out of work and the nation remains mired in a great recession, the President pointed out that education is "the economic issue of our time."  He went on to say that "It's an economic issue when the unemployment rate for folks who've never gone to college is almost double what it is for those who have gone to college.  It's an economic issue when eight in 10 new jobs will require workforce training or a higher education by the end of the decade.  It's an economic issue when countries that out-educate us today are going to out-compete us tomorrow."

But as the importance of education increases, the performance of our schools and students has declined.  In a single generation, America has gone from number one in the world to number 12 in college graduation rates and our 8th graders trail 10 other nations in science and math. And when it comes to black students, the President noted, "African American students trail not only almost every other developed nation abroad, but they badly trail their white classmates here at home - an achievement gap that is widening the income gap between black and white, between rich and poor."

The centerpiece of the President's prescription for improving American education is a program called "Race to the Top," which offers $4.35 billion in competitive grants to states that adopt a set of reforms designed to raise standards and teacher quality, turnaround low performing schools, and establish statewide data systems.  The President called Race to the Top, "the single most ambitious, meaningful education reform effort we've attempted in this country in generations." He said he will continue to fight for it "with everything I've gotů"

While the National Urban League and other civil rights groups support the objectives of the President's reform efforts, we are working with him and Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, to ensure that students and teachers get the support they need to make it work.

Ensuring that every American child is ready for college, work and life by the year 2025 is one of the four goals of the National Urban League's "I AM EMPOWERED" centennial year campaign.  We applaud the President for taking on this tough issue and for making it the focus of his visit to our national conference.  We pledge to continue working with him to get it right.  To read the President's speech in its entirety log onto http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-education-reform-national-urban-league-centennial-conference.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Доверяй, но проверяй

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 2948
    • View Profile
Great, President Obama and after-school tutor turned Sec. of Education Arne Duncan love children so much that they are strong-arming states into accepting their education standards.

That is what passes for reform now?

Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4403
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Great, President Obama and after-school tutor turned Sec. of Education Arne Duncan love children so much that they are strong-arming states into accepting their education standards.

That is what passes for reform now?

What should they do?
Seriously, if you were appointed Secretary of Education tomorrow, what would you do?
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 2948
    • View Profile
Great, President Obama and after-school tutor turned Sec. of Education Arne Duncan love children so much that they are strong-arming states into accepting their education standards.

That is what passes for reform now?

What should they do?
Seriously, if you were appointed Secretary of Education tomorrow, what would you do?

Candor- While it seems simplistic, what we need are politicians, academic administrators, and educators to admit that the system is completely broken. Once that takes place the deception involved with: in house grading, deceptive scoring i.e. ( level one, level two), school closings etc. can cease.

In an environemnt of total transparency children who require more help can be given it without worrying about competing with another school's statistics. Behaviorial problems can be confronted without fear of losing funds because of a high level of incidents.


2. Community control- It's hard to believe that Brooklyn led the way in community control of schools given the current embarassing state of the NYC public system. What is needed is an agressive and revamped community approach to education. If you are a resident of a community and a teacher, you get priority in hiring. The curriculum should also focus on enhancing knowledge of community affairs and regulations.

3. Educators lead- There should be a mandatory level of academic achievement involved with the selection of all administrors. No chancellors, superintendents, principals etc. who have never been in the trenches.


4. Drain the swamp- There is rampant corruption, cronyism, and malfeasance taking place throught the public school system. Every salary, pension, and contract gets reviewed online explicitly. The tragic irony is that ignorance in the poorer communities leads to more money being stolen than anywhere else.

5. No public funding for Charter schools- The conflict of interest has been readily apparent here in NYC with emperor Bloomberg's cronies, most notably, Eva Moskowitz, picking the bones of failing public schools. Fix public schools first and then branch out to charters.