Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Obama Renews Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley attended the signing ceremony yesterday for the reauthorization of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The story's at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, "Long Beach Education Leaders See Obama Sign Order":


LONG BEACH - Three of Long Beach's top education leaders were present at the White House on Tuesday as President Barack Obama signed an executive order renewing the Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, Long Beach City College Superintendent-President Eloy Oakley and Cal State Long Beach President F. King Alexander were among the education officials who looked on as Obama praised the initiative, which aims to boost educational opportunities for Hispanic students.

Obama noted that Hispanic students, who account for one in five students in the United States, are more likely to attend low-performing schools and drop out of high school.

"This is not just a Latino problem, this is an American problem," Obama said. "If one community falls behind, we all fall behind."

The initiative was established in 1990 by President Bush.

Steinhauser, Oakley and Alexander were invited to attend the signing ceremony and give a presentation at the National Education Summit and Call to Action.

Long Beach was one of just two cities in the country whose school administrators were asked to present their model education plan in front of officials from the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Education. The other city was San Bernardino.

CSULB, LBCC and LBUSD have been nationally recognized for their partnership, which includes a program called the Long Beach College Promise that aims to allow all local students to attend their first semester at LBCC tuition-free by 2011.
"Long Beach is so far ahead in working together, we've become a national model," Alexander said Tuesday.

Officials hope the newly- renewed initiative will bring additional aid and recognition to local schools. More than 50 percent of the students in the LBUSD are Hispanic.

"I think it energizes what we're already doing and hopefully gives us an opportunity to do more," Oakley said.
More at the link.