October 19, 2010
Following the Education Department's National Education Summit, President Obama signed an executive order that will improve education for Hispanic students, reported The Associated Press.
According to CNN, the Educational Excellence for Hispanics initiative, which was originally launched in 1990 by the administration of President George H.W. Bush, aims to improve educational opportunities for Hispanic students at all levels. The new order is an enhancement of the original initiative based on feedback from more than 100 community conversations with education experts and community leaders as well as from comments from more than 10,000 Americans on how to address the obstacles that the Hispanic community faces within education.
"This is not just a Latino problem; it's an American problem," said the president. "We've got to solve it."
UPI reported that the revised executive order is meant to meet Obama's goal of having the U.S. at the top of global graduation rates by 2020. USA Today quoted Obama saying, "Now, improving educational outcomes for the Hispanic community is critical to reaching these overall goals." Obama stated that Latinos are the largest minority group in America's schools, but often attend low performing schools and are more likely to drop out.
The president plans to "improve early childhood education, raise education standards in the states, address the dropout crisis, upgrade community colleges and offer tax credits to offset college expenses", reported USA Today.
CNN pointed out that some may criticize the initiative as education issues for Hispanics still continue 20 years after the original initiative was launched. To that, the president said, "Fixing what is broken in our education system is not easy. It won't happen overnight." He added that progress may not be seen for years or even decades, but that as long as he is president, he would not "give in to calls to short-change any of our students".
Critics argued that the new executive order was a political tactic as the congressional elections are just two weeks away. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs simply explained it was "the right thing to do".
Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff
"Obama: Hispanic education essential to overall education goals," USA Today, October 19, 2010, David Jackson
"Obama seeks to boost Hispanic achievement," Associated Press, October 19, 2010
"Obama signs education executive order," UPI, October 19, 2010
"Obama signs executive order enhancing Hispanic education initiative," CNN, October 19, 2010, Tom Cohen