Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    Obama Presidency: An Education Solution?

    Dayzia Terry
    6th grade, KIPP DC: Key Academy, Washington, DC

    Now that Barack Obama is president, I have one question: What does that mean for my education?

    Ed-u? Ed-me?

    Well if you really want an answer: The Obama presidency will mean me getting to attend law school and reaching my fullest potential.

    Many people really want to attend college; however, they cannot afford it. No one in my family has actually had the full college experience—with the exception of the woman who had me and then eventually received her degree. The Obama-Biden administration will help me get to college and be able to afford it. President Obama’s presidency will also mean better-educated teachers for schools that really need them. This will be good for my classmates and me because then we will have the opportunity to learn more. The administration will make a positive impact in my life.

    From doing research, I know that Obama and Biden are going to find ways to fix the dropout crisis. Dropping out is a generational curse in my family, but I will not be foiled. With their help I know that my non-dropout strategy will work. Therefore, I know that me dropping out will not be an option.

    Something else the Obama presidency means is better, safe, and affordable afterschool programs. This would be a benefit for kids like me who live in a “bad” neighborhood. Living in a “bad” neighborhood is a dilemma for me. Even though we just got the drug dealers off our street, you can still feel the tension in the people who walk past you, with intimidated faces. My mom already has enough problems. Why make her worry about my afterschool activities?

    The thing that I think is outstanding is that the Obama administration is going to help get higher-performing kids into AP and college-like classes. This applies to me because getting college credits early will really help me when I get to college.

    As you can see, the Obama presidency will help my education in many ways. It will also help many other African Americans like me rise above our everyday challenges and reach our full potential. Like they always say, “It’s not where you are from but where you’re going.”

    So, I have only one question for you: Where will the Obama presidency take you in life?
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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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