Your Black World reports
Russlyn Ali is no stranger to the huge disparity in the educational achievement gaps among blacks and whites. In fact, most of her professional career had been tirelessly spent on improving educational opportunities for low-income and minority students.
Ali–the Assistant Education Secretary–is the head civil rights enforcer, and her job, a rather significant one, is to ensure that local and state school districts do not violate ant-discrimination rules.
In the two years that Ali has been in this position, once held by Clarence Thomas, she has made remarkable progress.
“We have launched more investigations than ever before. Much broader, bigger investigations” into whether school officials are unfairly disciplining black kids and shoving them “into the cradle-to-prison-pipeline instead of the cradle-to-career-pipeline.”
She credits the Obama administration for their due diligence in challenging school systems that purposely prevent access to science, math, and technology courses for black and Hispanic high school students; courses that will better prepare them for college admission. In addition to that, the Obama camp has filed more than 70 discriminatory investigations, which was more than the Bush administration filed in his entire eight years in office.
This feat is something that the Obama administration should be raving about. Instead, his communication team has yet to echo a single word.
When Obama won the Presidency a couple of years ago, he secured 95% of the black vote and 67% of the Hispanic vote. Now, 85% of blacks, and 54% of Hispanics, a 23% combined decline, appear to have lost their confidence in our current President.
This innate silence on behalf of the President’s communication staff–particularly in the area of education, where minorities are the most disadvantaged–is one of the main reasons for the dramatic decline of black and Hispanic supporters.
If Ali is to have continued success in her battle with closing the educational achievement gap, Obama’s PR team is going to have to do something that has never been done before. And that will be to talk, openly and candidly, without fear–about minority education and why it matters.