U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced the appointment of David J. Johns as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
Mr. Johns’ duties will focus on improving the academic performance of black students, promoting understanding and tolerance among all Americans, as well as reducing “racial isolation and resegregation of elementary and secondary schools.”
According to the president’s executive order last summer, this new position is part of an initiative to help “strengthen the Nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages, and to help ensure that all African Americans receive an education that properly prepares them for college, productive careers, and satisfying lives.”
Mr. Johns’ new job will also entail “increasing college access and success for African American students and providing support to help ensure that a greater percentage of African Americans complete college.”
According to Thursday’s press release Mr. Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). He also served under the leadership of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. He was also a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow.
“David’s expertise will be critical in helping to address the academic challenges that many African American students face, and I am delighted to have him on our team,” Mr. Duncan said. “His wealth of knowledge and passion will help the Department move forward in its quest to ensure that all children are college and career ready.”