Ikhlas Saleem

We Asked The White House’s David Johns About Black Student Achievement and Here’s What He Had to Say

David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, teamed up with Education Post for a Facebook Q&A this week to talk about the future of the Initiative under a Trump administration and how to continue advancing Black student achievement. Unfortunately, I can't feature all of the thoughtful questions and answers but here are a few highlights, according to yours truly. Alexa Rice answered the question I've been dying to know: "What are the next steps if the initiative ceases to exist under Trump?" The Initiative has done so much to advance the educational experience of African-American students, I would hate to see that come to a halt. Johns gave us all a little history lesson on how White House Initiatives work and why he thinks the work will continue.   screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-10-16-20-am   Teresa Kelley wanted to know what she, and others, could do as community members to bring attention to the issues surrounding African-American youth.   screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-10-32-30-am   Sharif El-Mekki, principal of Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia, wanted to know about the students. Since the Initiative is constantly traveling around the country listening and working with students from all types of backgrounds, he asked Johns: "What is the number 1 thing you hear from students across the country?" Johns' answer? "No matter where we are or how old the students we engage are the ONE thing they say they need is LOVE." As a student who received this message unconditionally from K-12 and through college, I can honestly say there isn't a truer answer. And judging from all the <3 <3 <3, I think other folks agree.   screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-00-25-pm   But possibly the best thing about this entire chat is 9-year-old Joshua who asked his mom to hop on the Facebook Q&A to ask his question: "Why is it important for young black men to excel in their education?"   screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-10-10-pm   Check out the rest of the conversation here and stay tuned for our next Facebook Q&A by liking our page! https://www.facebook.com/BetterConversationBetterEducation/photos/a.262846647247371.1073741828.246491525549550/544149052450461/?type=3&theater

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