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President Barack Obama has announced the appointment of UT alumnus Michael Nettles to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Nettles graduated in 1976 with a degree in political science.

nettlesHe is the senior vice president and Edmund W. Gordon Chair of the Policy Evaluation and Research Center at Educational Testing Services.

“President Obama created the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans because in the sixty years since the Brown versus Board of Education decisions, African American students continue to lack equal access to a high-quality education and still lag far behind their white peers in reading and math proficiency, high school graduation rates, and college completion,” said Nettles.

The initiative is a cross-agency effort aimed at identifying evidence-based practices that improve student achievement and developing a national network that shares these best practices.

According to the commission website, the initiative supports the president’s desire to “restore the country to its role as the global leader in education, to 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.”

Nettles serves on the boards of a number of organizations, including the Southern Education Foundation, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Bank Street College of Education, and the Corporate and Philanthropic Council of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.