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Yet Another Plan to Fix the Education Gap?

The NAACP unveils one, and here's what sets it apart. Plus, we spoke with the U.S. education chief.

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Then he laid out the following game plan: "We want to continue to invest heavily in early child education. You saw us in the first [Obama] term do $600 million, and our department sort of hadn't done anything there -- huge leadership by the president there.

"We want to continue to push very hard on the K-12 reform agenda, and see states implement higher standards, which is hugely important. Then we have to make college more accessible and affordable, so I'm obviously so proud that we had the additional $40 billion in Pell Grants in the first term -- without going back to taxpayers for a nickel. But the cost of college is still a tremendous burden, not just for disadvantaged communities, but for middle-class families.

"So it has to be a cradle-to-career agenda, and we have to educate our way to a better economy."

Sheryl Huggins Salomon is managing editor of The Root. 

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Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.