President Barack Obama has announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Nettles to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Nettles is the Senior Vice President and Edmund W. Gordon Chair of the Policy Evaluation and Research Center at Educational Testing Service (ETS).
He was previously Vice President of Policy Evaluation and Research from 2004 to 2006 and Executive Director of Policy Research from 2003 to 2004. Nettles was a Professor of Education at the University of Michigan from 1992 to 2003, and served as the first Executive Director of the Fredrick D. Patterson Research Institute of the United Negro College Fund from 1996 to 1999.
“I am grateful for the opportunity that the president is giving me to collaborate with other leaders, scholars and the general public on a topic that I have been so involved in addressing throughout my career, and that grows in its importance to the nation with each passing day,” said Nettles. “I am eager to confront the challenge facing this presidential commission, and hopeful that we will be able to generate some new and progressive ideas and solutions for the country to act upon in order to make substantive gains.”
“President Obama created the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans because in the 60 years since the Brown v 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,” Nettles added.
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.”
Besides Nettles, President Obama also appointed the following people to the Commission:
Peggy L. Brookins – Co-founder, Director and Mathematics Instructor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Institute of Technology at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida
Dr. Kent McGuire – President of the Southern Education Foundation (SEF)
Dr. Evelynn M. Hammonds – Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University
Spencer Overton – Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School (GWU)
Becky Pringle – Secretary-Treasurer of the National Education Association (NEA)
John Rice – Founder and CEO of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT)
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. He received a B.A. from the University of Tennessee, and an M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University.