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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obama Woos Hispanic Voters With Education Initiative (His New Minorities)

Obama Signs Latino Education Initiative

Nearly half of young Latinos were not enrolled in either high school or college in March 2009, the highest number of all groups in the U.S., according to the Pew Hispanic Research Center.

The group said 48.9 percent of Hispanics ages 16 to 24 were not engaged in any educational institution that month.

As a result, President Barack Obama wants to focus harder on improving Hispanic educational achievement. In a ceremony in the east room of the White House on Tuesday, Obama signed an executive order intended to do just that.

Obama says improving education will help the U.S. compete in a growing global economy. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, is aimed to help communities share best practices, strengthen public-private partnerships and ensure that federal programs meet the needs of Latino youths and adults. The order also establishes a government-wide working group and a separate presidential advisory commission.

In the past 18 months, the White House has visited more than 90 communities in 20 states, engaging those who are interested in improving the lives of Latinos. This initiative is intended to not only continue the conversation but to implement those very changes suggested by leaders and community members throughout the country.

The initiative will focus on efforts to engage the Hispanic community and anyone working within the education system nationwide as active participants in improving academic achievement for Hispanic Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In 2009, the White House began community conversations that were intended to hear key challenges by community leaders and members of the education system and needs to better help the Latino Community. The initiative is headed by the executive director Juan SepĂșlveda.

SepĂșlveda, a Mexican American and the third Latino to ever be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, is in charge of the White House’s push to help improve academic achievement of Hispanic Americans.

According to the Department of Education, the initiative was established in September 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to provide advice and guidance to the secretary of education on such issues related to Hispanic. It was renewed under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The signing comes two weeks before crucial midterm elections in which Obama is counting on Hispanics to vote Democratic on Nov. 2.

Sources: Fox News

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