Leaders of White House Initiative Take Aim at Achievement Gap at NYU Wagner Event

More than 150 people attended “Bridging the Gap,” a panel discussion at NYU Wagner featuring leaders of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence and other change makers.

The forum on policy and practice opportunities to narrow the achievement gap for students of color was organized by the school’s Wagner Education Policy Student Association; the Association of Latin@s and Allies in Public Service; and the Black Student Association.

Among the panelists was David Johns, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, who emphasized that programs in early childhood learning and high school dropout prevention are important levers for improving educational outcomes for people of color.

Involvement at the community-based level is also key, he said.

“Policy is but a tool,” explained Johns. “How do we leverage to ensure every adult who meets our children has the competency and the support to get them where they need to go?”

In addition to Johns, the panelists at "Bridging the Gap: Actualizing Educational Achievement for Students of Color," included:

Marco Davis, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Khemeneck Patin, Senior Policy Advisor for the NYC Young Men’s Initiative

Derrell Bradford, Executive Director for the New York Campaign for Achievement Now

Jessica Coffrin-St. Julien, Board Member and Governance Committee Chair for MASA New York

The October 30 discussion in the Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue was moderated by NYU Steinhardt's Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Dr. Edward Fergus.