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CSU Presidents Attend Signing of Executive Order Renewing White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans

President Obama and CSUDH president  Mildred Garcia shake hands at White House

CSU Dominguez Hills President Mildred García shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the signing of the Hispanic education executive order.

Watch the video on YouTube

Four California State University presidents joined President Barack Obama during the signing on Oct. 19 of an executive order to renew and enhance the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

Presidents Mildred Garcia, CSU Dominguez Hills; King Alexander, Cal State Long Beach; Milton Gordon, Cal State Fullerton, and Al Karnig, CSU San Bernardino, were present during the signing of the reauthorization of the national initiative that supports educational opportunities for Latino students.

The executive order calls for a 30-member presidential advisory commission, chaired by Eduardo Padrón, the president of Miami Dade Community College, which will work to engage community members in efforts to improve education for Hispanic students.

The Executive Order follows feedback gathered by Initiative Director Juan Sepulveda in more than 100 community gatherings across the country with educators, community leaders and concerned citizens.

The signing ceremony was the culmination of a National Education Summit and Call to Action, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, which brought together experts and community leaders from around the country on issues ranging from early childhood learning to higher education.

"Today, Latinos make up the largest minority group in America’s schools -– more than one in five students overall -– and they face challenges of monumental proportions," Obama said.

"Latino students are more likely to attend our lowest-performing schools, more likely to learn in larger class sizes, more likely to drop out at higher rates,” Obama said. “Fewer than half take part in early childhood education. Only about half graduate on time from high school. And those who do make it to college often find themselves underprepared for its rigors."

The president characterized the status of Latino education as not a Latino problem but as an American problem. "We’ve got to solve it because if we allow these trends to continue, it won’t just be one community that falls behind -- we will all fall behind together."

Earlier this year, Obama had set a goal for the United States to have a higher share of college graduates than any other nation by the year 2020.

"Making sure that we offer all our kids, regardless of race, a world-class education is more than a moral obligation. It is an economic imperative if we want to succeed in the 21st century," he said.

Read the entire transcript of the president's remarks and watch the Video of the signing ceremony

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