Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    Barack Obama for My Education

    Audrey Delgado
    5th grade, Nathaniel Bowditch School, Salem, Massachusetts

    Dear President Obama and education officials,

    Hello, my name is Audrey Sophia Delgado. I am in fifth grade at the Nathaniel Bowditch School in Salem, Massachusetts; my teacher’s name is Ms. Piz. Before I discuss education of the future, I want to tell you what I think about education right now, and why you should listen to me. You should listen to me because I’m in school. I know what happens—sometimes it’s better to have a fresh pair of eyes. I care about education for kids because in a few years kids will be (hopefully) working adults. If some kids don’t get a good education, this country will fall into a bigger black hole than it is in now. Which brings me to my next topic, testing and what we should do to make kids feel more confident about taking standardized state tests and tests given by teachers.

    As a kid and student I know that taking a test isn’t very fun. For instance, when you’re in a room and it’s quiet, you’re focusing on your test; you studied for hours the night before but you still feel uncomfortable. I always think I know I can do this, but why am I not confident? I know that personally for me it’s because I know I’m doing well in school that I feel pressured to do well on a test. It may not be the same for other kids, but they might feel pressured to get a good grade to feel more self-confident because maybe they aren’t doing very well in school or in a certain subject. I think that kids should be tested in a different way because it’s intimidating. I think a better way of teaching is the teacher should ask everyone questions and everyone should answer and the teacher will keep track of how many questions you answer  correctly. Please take all these things into consideration as one way to better the education in America. Next I will discuss the school lunch program I have experienced.

    At my school I think the school lunch is awful and so do the majority of my friends. We think it’s awful because it tastes bad and looks unappetizing. Now I know what you’re thinking—why does that matter, but there is something important about this that I have personally discovered. If you don’t eat lunch, the rest of the day, you’re not focused on doing your work. You are focusing on going home and getting something to eat. Everyday my friends and I always are saying, “If they are going to force us to eat, they should serve better food.” For kids to have an education they need a teacher so that will be what the next
    paragraph is about.

    The foundation, the glue, the peanut butter of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the teacher. There may be layoffs of hundreds of teachers in the Lynn school district. No doubt teachers have been laid off before all over the country, and no doubt they’ll lay off teachers in the future. If there aren’t enough teachers kids won’t have a teacher to teach them. Isn’t that the whole point of going to school? Also, a child could have a teacher that got laid off as a parent and end up on the street because their parent can’t find a job just like so many others. Also if that child’s family doesn’t have money that child might not be able to go to college, and I believe that everyone should be able to go to college so they can be successful. I hope that you will use what I have written for you so that this country can have a brighter future and children can have a better education.

    I have finished with what stands out to me that should be taken care of. Please take these things into consideration when taking action on education in America. Just by reading this means you want to right the wrong that has been made in the education of America. I would like to thank you for taking time out of your day to think about America’s education.

    With consideration,
    Audrey Delgado
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    Summer 2009 Issue


    Editors’ Introduction
    Note to Educators
    Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete
    Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade
    A Dialogue
    Our Selves, Our Students, and Obama
    Jennifer McLaughlin and Kim Kelly
    President Obama and Education
    The Possibility for Dramatic Improvements in Teaching and Learning
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Promise and Peril
    Charter Schools, Urban School Reform, and the Obama Administration
    Charles Payne and Tim Knowles
    Reclaiming Our Freedom to Teach
    Education Reform in the Obama Era
    Megan Behrent
    Obama’s Dilemma
    Postpartisan Politics and the Crisis of American Education
    Henry A. Giroux
    Second-Class Integration
    A Historical Perspective for a Contemporary Agenda
    Vanessa Siddle Walker
    Equity and Empathy
    Toward Racial and Educational Achievement in the Obama Era
    Prudence L. Carter
    It Wasn’t Easy to Get Here
    Kathleen Mayse
    Obama, Where Art Thou?
    Hoping for Change in U.S. Education Policy
    Wayne Au
    Praise Song for Teachers
    A Call to Action
    Ariane White
    Educating Latino Immigrant Students in the Twenty-First Century
    Principles for the Obama Administration
    Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
    Education for Everyday People
    Obstacles and Opportunities Facing the Obama Administration
    Gloria Ladson-Billings
    An Insurrectionary Generation
    Young People, Poverty, Education, and Obama
    Jay Gillen
    An Earned Insurgency
    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    Robert P. Moses
    Barack Obama and the Fight for Public Education
    William Ayers
    Coda: The Slow Fuse of Change
    Obama, the Schools, Imagination, and Convergence
    Maxine Greene
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