We hope that all is well and that you and your families are enjoying the summer so far. We wanted to reach out to you to share some important information that has the potential to impact our children and generations to come. Most of us know that education is the greatest Civil Rights issue of our time, particularly for children of color who have a history of struggling and suffering under an educational system that has often been unequal and ineffective in adequately addressed their needs. As mothers in this wonderful organization and thought leaders in our own communities, we have been doing our part to improve the lives of our children and those around them, including being active and engaged parents, for we know that is an essential component to their overall success. This fall Mocha Moms, Inc. will launch its own initiative, Occupy Schools, to foster greater parent engagement and involvement, and to let our schools know that we will not stand for inferior standards, lower test scores and an achievement gap that continues to exist.
On Thursday, President Obama signed an executive order to create The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, an initiative which will work across Federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for African American students. The Initiative aims to ensure that all African American students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion, and productive careers.
While Mocha Moms, Inc. is a 501c3 national nonprofit, with restrictions on lobbying, endorsing and supporting political candidates and campaigns, we applaud the efforts of any group or administration that seeks to improve educational opportunities for our children and recognizes the deep need for our students to be more adequately prepared and poised for success. We are sending this information out in an effort to educate and inform our members so that you are aware of the developments that impact our lives and the lives of our children.
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, housed within the Department of Education, will work with the Executive Office of the President and Cabinet agencies to identify evidence-based best practices to improve African American student achievement in school and college, and to develop a national network of individuals, organizations, and communities that will share and implement these practices. It will also help ensure that Federal programs and initiatives administered by the Department of Education and other Federal agencies maintain a focus on serving and meeting the educational needs of African Americans.
The White House Initiative goals include:
- Increasing the percentage of African American children who enter kindergarten ready for success by improving access to high-quality early learning and development programs;
- Ensuring that all African American students have access to high-level, rigorous course work and support services that will prepare them for college, a career, and civic participation;
- Providing African American students with equitable access to effective teachers and principals in pursuit of a high-quality education, and supporting efforts to improve the recruitment, preparation, development, and retention of successful African American teachers and principals;
- Promoting a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools, and decreasing the disproportionate number of referrals to special education by addressing root causes of the referrals;
- Reducing the dropout rate of African American students and increasing the proportion of African American students who graduate from high school prepared for college and career;
- Increasing college access, college persistence, and college attainment for African American students;
- Strengthening the capacity of institutions of higher education that serve large numbers of African American students, including community colleges, HBCUs, Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and other institutions; and
- Improving the quality of, and expanding access to, adult education, literacy, and career and technical education.
As we move forward with Occupy Schools, Boys Booked on Barbershops and other educational initiatives, let’s continue to applaud the efforts of those who seek similar goals and work together to fully prepare our children for well rounded, productive and economically secure lives. The success of future generations will depend on it.
Much Mocha Love,
The Mocha Moms, Inc. National Board -Kuae, Cheli, Gabriela, Kenya, Kim, LaShaun and Shalaun