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HBCU closing.St. Paul’s College, established in 1888 in Lawrenceville, Va., will close on June 30 after 125 years.
It’s not every day a 125 year old historically black college closes in the same month the President, the first lady, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Agriculture and a White House Senior Advisor all speak at HBCUs proclaiming the importance of historically black colleges and education.
Yet somehow, not even the Secretary of Education, who will be in Virginia next week, appeared to be aware that the 125 year old institution was in trouble. Maybe Tom Joyner should be named Secretary of Education — he has more passion and interest in HBCU’s than Duncan.
“During a two-year probation, the private college struggled, but couldn’t fix what accreditors found lacking at the institution that largely serves low-income, first-generation students. Saint Paul’sstruggled to rebound,” wrote Denise Hawkins on May 31 atDiverseEducation.com.
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All the talk about the “importance of education” at five speeches at HBCUs over 30 days won’t save St. Paul’s College. Back in November the White House Initiative on HBCUs, John Wilson, announced his departure. The position remains vacant.
Within the last three weeks, five members of the Obama Administration — including the President himself — spoke at four historically Black colleges in May. The President spoke at Morehouse. The Secretary of Education spoke at Morgan State. The Secretary of Agriculture spoke at Tuskegee. First lady Michelle Obama spoke at Morgan State. Senior Adviosr Valerie Jarrett spoke at Clark Atlanta University.
||| RELATED: HBCU Prez on PLUS Loan Crisis: $160M Lost “Worst Situation I’ve Seen in 35 Years” |||
None of the five mentioned the Parent PLUS Loan problem. Morehouse was forced the furlough employees as a result of the Obama Administration’s change in loan requirements. The change effected HBCU students disproportionately. Though some feel the President should not talk policy at a commencement, one has to wonder what the Secretary of Education’s thoughts are. If it isn’t his job to focus on the biggest issues facing HBCUs whose job is it?
Duncan at Morgan State
“The commitment to educating our next generation and building ladders of opportunity for anyone willing to work for it. All of you are now part of that story,” first ladyMichelle Obama told graduatesat Bowie State on May 17.
“Right now, one in three African American students are dropping out of high school. Only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree — one in five,” Ms. Obama added.
“As much as anyone, the friends, the family members—your support system—helped our graduates realize the American Dream. They have helped you demonstrate that, in America, education is still the great equalizer for so many people,” Duncan told graduates at Morgan State on May 18.
So much more on this on Monday.
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