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Across the country, low and middle-income families are increasingly concerned about the access to higher education for their children, a battle President Barack Obama has consistently fought during his two terms in office.

In his 2010 State of the Union address, the then bright-eyed president – still riding the wave from his 2008 campaign that promised a change in trajectory for America’s marginalized – proposed solutions that would both make college affordable and attainable for students.

“The best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education,” the president said.

Sadly, minority students are still struggling to reach the starting line for postsecondary education. In fact, the achievement gap between white students and black students hasn’t budged much in the last 50 years, according to a new EducationNext report that examined the slow-closing canyon, first analyzed in the 1966 education equity-focused Coleman Report.

Experts are divided on how to fix education equity, though many point to the quality of educators in our system. But when minority students – who are disproportionately affected by lower test scores, literacy rates and college preparedness – are placed in schools that employ teachers who are 80 percent white, could the underlying issue be representation?

The University of Phoenix has teamed up with NewsOne to “change the lives of students, families, and future generations through higher learning” by examining the factors that disable our students – from severe underrepresentation in schools to systemic poverty – in order to find solutions to combat those alarming disparities. Saving Tomorrow, Today: The Curriculum Of New America — a documentary that examines how educators, creatives and critical thinkers are collectively working to create spaces where marginalized students can grow — is our first step.

In doing this, it is our hope that we empower and educate a new generation of educators and students that proactively create solutions to collectively change the future of education while ensuring the success of minority students nationwide.

For more information on the documentary, click here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Charles H.F. Davis III

PHOTOS: Saving Tomorrow, Today
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