Multicultural Momentum Builds for Education Reform

Washington, DC [CapitalWirePR] – With the Administration nearing the goal posts on meaningful health care reform, attention is turning to the twin goal of educational reform, particularly in the country’s Hispanic and African-American communities.
 
Over the past few weeks, national forums on Latino families and education issues have been hosted by various groups ranging from the Education Writers Association [EWA] to the National Council of La Raza [NCLR]. In addition, substantive new findings are entering the national dialogue.

 The Pew Hispanic Center has recently surveyed and reported on Hispanic education changes entitled “Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap”.  Educational Testing Service, furthermore, has published Princeton University Professor Marta Tienda’s lecture, “Hispanicity and Educational Inequality: Risks, Opportunities and the Nation’s Future,” delivered at the 2009 conference of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.
 
Concern is not limited to the Hispanic community. Over the course of the summer the New America Alliance [NAA] and the Executive Leadership Council [ELC] created an educational alliance that has identified and begun to address common issues in closing the achievement gap between black and brown students and their Caucasian and Asian counterparts.

Seeking to leverage the momentum of growing national and local education reform efforts throughout the United States, the Obama administration is focusing on issues from “cradle to career” with the goal of making all students ready to compete in a global economy.

As Education Secretary Arne Duncan commented recently at the National Council of La Raza Gala, “We are moving toward realizing the dream of equal educational opportunity. It has taken us a long time to get there. But together, for the good of our children, let’s seize this unique moment in the history of education reform.”

As a reflection of these growing concerns and the administrations outreach, numerous organizations and media have partnered with CapitalWirePR to host Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a forum to Meet the Hispanic Press.  Latino media and education stakeholders will gather on October 28, 2009 from 10:00 to 11:00am at the National Press Club in Washington, DC in a forum that will allow journalists and stakeholders in education to learn more about the administration’s education vision.

“Education is a national priority and an important issue for a significant employer such as Verizon” said Emilio Gonzalez, Vice President for Public Policy and Strategic Alliances.  “Technology plays a vital role in helping students and teachers prepare for a 21st century economy and that is why we have invested in creating a free teaching and learning resource called “Thinkfinity.org” We are committed to helping our education system prepare students for the global economy and offering communities nationwide the tools and resources with which to address some of the challenges that lay ahead.”  Verizon is a Co-Presenting Communication’s Partner of the forum.

The Meet the Hispanic Press forum is open to interested media and invited stakeholder organizations. Following brief introductory remarks and acknowledgements, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address the forum. He will be followed by questions from a panel of Hispanic-serving national media and questions from other attending media.

Among the topics generating a lot of education and Hispanic community buzz are:
the National Common Core State Standards Initiative jointly led by the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association; the American Graduation Initiative and community colleges, where the highest percentage of Latinos are engaged on post secondary education.

Also, the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities [HACU] and the Higher Education Act authorizations for undergraduate and graduate support at Hispanic Serving Institutions [HSIs];
the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [No Child Left Behind];
the status and opportunities of the historic recovery and reinvestment funds [ARRA]; and,
what’s going on with a new executive order for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

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