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President Obama has named UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski chair of the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

In addition to advising President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the commission will work closely with the newly-formed White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which is charged with coordinating federal agencies around this critical issue and identifying best practices nationwide. The commission also will lead a national dialogue – engaging the business, philanthropic, nonprofit and education communities – on African American achievement from early childhood through adulthood.

“The nation’s future will depend heavily on the extent to which we educate all of our nation’s children.  This commission will work to ensure that increasing numbers of African Americans excel academically,” President Hrabowski said.

“The work of my colleagues at UMBC has demonstrated that education in America can be both inclusive and excellent,” he said. “Our African American students study with people from all over the world and achieve at the highest levels. I am delighted that the President is again committing to the success of all students.”

The President has set the goal for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. This new White House initiative and commission will work toward that ambitious goal, complementing an existing initiative that strengthens the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

President Hrabowski has worked extensively on national education issues, including chairing a National Academy of Sciences committee that examined minority participation in the sciences. In its final report, that committee concluded that, to remain competitive, the United States needs to significantly increase its investment in young people of all races interested in science, technology, engineering and math.

You can read more about President Hrabowski here. To learn more about the role of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, please visit the White House website.

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