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African-American Education Office: Obama Announces White House Initiative On Educational Excellence

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AFRICANAMERICAN EDUCATION OFFICE
President Barack Obama addresses the National Urban League convention at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 25, 2012. | AP

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is creating a new office to bolster education of African-American students.

The White House says the office will coordinate the work of communities and federal agencies to ensure that African-American youngsters are better prepared for high school, college and career.

Obama is announcing his election-year initiative Wednesday night in a speech to the civil rights group the National Urban League as he seeks to rally black voters. Aides say his executive order, to be signed Thursday, will set a goal of producing "a more effective continuum" of programs for African-American students.

The president announced his election-year initiative, the first-ever White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, in remarks to the civil rights group National Urban League Convention Wednesday as he sought to rally black voters.

Aides told the Associated Press that the executive order, to be signed Thursday, will set a goal of producing "a more effective continuum" of programs for African-American students.

In his remarks Wednesday, Obama said he is creating the office "so that every child has greater access to a complete and competitive education from the time they're born all through the time they get a career." From his speech:

And that’s why we’re pushing all colleges and universities to cut their costs. Because we can’t keep asking taxpayers to subsidize skyrocketing tuition. A higher education in the 21st century cannot be a luxury. It is a vital necessity that every American should be able to afford. I want all these young people to be getting a higher education, and I don’t want them loaded up with tens of thousands of dollars of debt just to get an education. That’s how we make America great.

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