President Obama announced an initiative he said will improve the education of African-American students during his remarks at the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans on July 25. Obama’s executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans is set to level the academic playing field in primary and secondary education, making higher education a definite next step, rather than an inaccessible option, for today’s youth. The goal is to ensure that every African-American student can receive an education that adequately prepares him/her for high-school graduation, college completion and productive careers in a knowledge-based economy.
With this initiative aimed at lowering the achievement gap between black students and their white counterparts, here are three reasons this initiative will benefit the future of science, technology, engineering and math education.–Hajj Flemings
Exposing Students to STEM Earlier
The lack of black people in technology stems from the lack of STEM education. While America doesn’t produce a great number of white scientists, mathematicians and engineers, the disparity hits African Americans a lot stronger. African Americans received just 7 % of all STEM bachelor’s degrees, 4 % of master’s degrees, and 2 % of PhDs in 2009, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Thankfully, several extra-curricular programs like Black Girls Code are dedicated to teaching children and young adults from underrepresented communities.
With this initiative promising to focus on youth at the beginning of their educational careers, students will become exposed to all that STEM has to offer in the classroom.