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South Bay Latino Students Cheer Executive Order

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Obama shakes hands with Javier Garcia before signing the White House Initiative On Educational Excellence on Oct. 19, 2010. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Javier Garcia before signing the White House Initiative On Educational Excellence on Oct. 19, 2010. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Latino students around the Bay Area are expressing encouragement over an executive order signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics is a
commitment to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students which have the highest dropout rate of any community.

Many students watching at San Jose City College said it shows that the President is paying attention to improving outcomes for Latinos.

Ricardo Vizcarra, who is hoping to go on to a four-year college, said it is an encouraging sign.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“It’s not very often that you hear anything being done for the Hispanic community,” he said. “This is one of the first times I’ve seen anything.”

President Obama said the goal is to reduce the dropout rate in the Hispanic community.

“Fewer than half take part in early childhood education,” he said. “Only about half graduate on time from high school. And those who do make it to college often find themselves under-prepared for its rigors.”

In the San Jose area, Latino students are facing a 44-percent achievement gap, with many not even making it past the third grade.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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