Brings expertise in development and learning to prestigious panel
Dr. James P. Comer, founder of the School Development Program (SDP) and Yale Child Study Center professor, was recently appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Comer and 14 other members will advise the U.S. president and the secretary of education on ways to advance federal programs that improve educational opportunities for African Americans, increase participation of the African-American community in federal agency programs, and engage stakeholders in a national dialogue on the mission.
Charged with strengthening the nation by ensuring that all African Americans receive an education that prepares them for college, productive careers, and satisfying lives, the commission is part of the Obama administration’s broader mandate to restore the country to its role as the global leader in education. The mission fits into Dr. Comer's philosophy of development and learning.
“It was my belief 50 years ago that the focus of research and intervention in African-American education should be on excellence and potentials more than deficit; and should use a holistic and public health approach,” says Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University Child Study Center. Comer has spent his career working to improve schools and education, “especially for children who have been closed out of the social and economic mainstream.”
In Hartsville, four elementary schools are in the third year of a five-year pilot program using the Comer SDP. Teachers, staff, administration and parents are learning the connection between development and learning. The Comer SDP is recognized worldwide for its success in improving scholastic performance of children from lower income and minority backgrounds.