Saying bad schools are not just a Latino problem, Obama said it is imperative to improve opportunities for all students and make sure each child has access to a good education.
Tuesday's signing of the Educational Excellence for Hispanics initiative follows a National Education Summit and Call to Action hosted by the Education Department that started Monday. The summit brought together administration officials with experts in education and Hispanic community leaders on issues such as early childhood learning to higher education.
The revised executive order places a high priority on action meant to reach education goals Obama set for the country that will help ensure competitiveness in a global economy, the White House said.
"Today, Latinos make up the largest minority group in America's schools -- more than one in five students overall," Obama noted, adding they often attend "our lowest performing schools" and are more likely to drop out.
To meet educational goals, "We are expanding and reforming early childhood education so that our children aren't behind by the time they reach the schoolhouse door," Obama said.
"We're challenging programs that don't measure up to compete for their funding, because if you're receiving tax dollars you better be able to deliver results for our children. …
"So in the end this is about building a brighter future, where every child in this country, black, white, Latino, Asian or Native American, regardless of color, class, creed, has a chance to rise above any barrier to fulfill their God-given potential.
"It's about keeping the promise at the heart of this country that we love, the promise of a better life, the promise that our children will dream bigger, hope deeper, climb higher, than we could ever imagine. That's the promise that so many of you work to advance each and every day in your own respective fields. And as long as I have the privilege of being your president, that's a promise that I intend to work to keep."