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Dr. James P. Comer appointed to President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

By Cynthia R. Savo 

President Barack Obama has appointed Dr. James P. Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center and the founder and director of the School Development Program, to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Dr. Comer and the other Commission members will advise the President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan "on ways to advance federal programs that improve educational opportunities for African Americans, increase participation of the African American community in federal agency programs, and engage stakeholders in a national dialogue on the mission."

President Obama said, "These fine public servants bring both a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles. Our nation will be well-served by these men and women, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come." 

On July 26, 2012 President Barack Obama signed the Executive Order that created the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans to help accelerate national efforts to support African-American students. President Obama appointed Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as the Commission's chair.

"I am honored that President Obama has appointed me to his Advisory Commission," said Comer. "It was my belief 50 years ago that the focus of research and intervention in African-American education should be on excellence and potentials more than deficit; and should use a holistic and public health approach. This led to my desire to improve schools and education, especially for children who have been closed out of the social and economic mainstream. I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Hrabowski and the other Commission members to provide the President and Secretary Duncan with our collective knowledge, wisdom, and experience."

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