NAACP Commends President Obama’s Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans

(Washington, DC) – The NAACP has released the following statement regarding the President Obama’s announcement that he will sign an executive order creating the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

From Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP:

“This is a bold and welcome step in our country's ongoing quest to be one nation where all our children show up ready to learn and find teachers ready to nurture and teach every student,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.

“For too long, the experience of far too many African American students in far too many places has been marred by school districts whose ongoing practices have failed our children. In too many of these cases the discriminatory practices extend the effects of the nation's legacy of segregation and vestiges of slavery. If fully implemented, we are convinced the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will make sure school discipline is fair, special education assignments are based on need not race, and all of our nation's most motivated students have fair access to advanced placement classes.

Be it in Mississippi or Manhattan, North Carolina or South L.A., the data has shown – and too many family's experiences have proven – that we still need the power of the Federal Government to ensure all our nation's children are treated fairly.”

Concluded Jealous, “This Initiative will help ensure ongoing progress towards that day when all students have equal access to educational excellence and no student can find examples of racism anywhere in their schools except chronicled in their history books.”

From Adora Obi Nweze, Chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors Education Committee:

"This initiative is a much-needed step towards closing the achievement gap in educational outcomes for the African American students," stated Adora Obi Nweze, Chair of the NAACP's Board of Directors Education Committee. "Many of the areas the initiative will address are areas the NAACP has advocated for since Brown v. Board, including  holding states accountable for creating diverse, equitably funded public schools and ensuring that this country lives up to its promise of equal opportunity for each student in every school."

The NAACP will release a report later this year outlining best practices to improve educational outcomes for students of color.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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