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President Biden taps prominent African Americans for education advisory commission

Andrew Pillow
Andrew Pillow
Andrew Pillow is an educator and education reporter. He attended school in Louisville, K-12, and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. In addition to his work as an educator, he also navigates the education system as a parent.

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President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint 21 different people to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans.

The Commission advises the President through the Secretary of Education on issues related to educational equity and economic opportunity for the Black community. It focuses on promoting career pathways, increasing awareness of educational disparities and creating relationships with stakeholders to push for both equity and excellence for African Americans. It seeks to achieve this primarily by developing and implementing educational programs.

The list of appointees includes prominent figures like Lezli Baskerville, the chief executive officer of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and Rebecca Pringle, the president of the National Education Association.

“As an educator, I have dedicated my life to ensuring that every student, no matter their race, ZIP code, or background, has access to strong public schools that help them grow into their full brilliance,” said Pringle in a statement. “But for too long unequal systems and unjust policies have prevented too many Black students from accessing the high-quality educational opportunities that they deserve.”

The initiative has been around in some form for years, but the most recent iteration was established in 2021 via an executive order from President Biden. 

In the past, the board has hosted events, panels and roundtables with education experts. This in addition to serving as key advisors to the Biden Administration on education issues facing the African American community.

U. S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona applauded the appointments and pledged to work with the commission to achieve better outcomes.

“Education is the foundation of all opportunity in America, yet centuries of discrimination and injustices have resulted in unacceptable inequities in educational access and outcomes for Black students, of all ages. We cannot be complacent when race and place remain such powerful factors in the availability of educational opportunity for our children,” said Cardona via an official press release. “The expertise represented on this commission will be an invaluable resource to our Department and to the President as we work to Raise the Bar in education and ensure that all Black children have access to an academically rigorous education, safe and healthy learning environments, supportive school communities, and multiple pathways to college and career.”

Contact Indy Kids Winning Reporter Andrew Pillow at andrewp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewPillow.

Andrew’s work is supported through a partnership between Indy Kids Winning and the Indianapolis Recorder. Visit indykidswinning.com to learn more.

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