Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    Letter to Barack Obama

    Cassandra Silvas
    8th grade

    Dear President Barack Obama,

    I have been asked the question: “What will Obama’s presidency mean to my education?” Well, to start off, Mr. President, you have inspired me to work harder to reach my goal of becoming the first Hispanic woman president. I think with you becoming our president a lot of change is going to come, starting with the education of my generation. Our district has taken a lot of budget cuts in just this school year alone. Our classes are getting bigger and more overcrowded every year. We don’t always have enough books. But with you as president I feel that you will provide us with books and perhaps more schools. With more schools our classes can be smaller and those who need the help will always get it. You have promised to get the schools the money they need. I believe that you will keep that promise along with the promise you made about affordable colleges. A Harvard education, where I would like to go to get my degree of law, isn’t cheap. I know that, but I hope that with you as the president the value of a dollar won’t go down any more than it already has and that more scholarships will be given to students.

    January 20, 2009, was a great day in American history. And I hope one day when my grandchildren are learning about the forty-fourth president, I can tell them how I watched you as you were sworn into office. I will mention to them your wonderful and inspiring inauguration speech. Lastly, I will tell them of how you are the reason I and many others are choosing to follow our dreams.


    Cassandra Silvas
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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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