Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Education for Everyday People

    Obstacles and Opportunities Facing the Obama Administration

    Gloria Ladson-Billings
    In this essay, Gloria Ladson-Billings describes her reaction to Barack Obama’s election and her desire to share these historic moments with folks she considers “everyday people.” She then looks to the future of education in the United States and highlights obstacles to the Obama administration’s meaningful engagement with education issues. Ladson-Billings uses the frame of interest convergence to suggest that this new administration has the opportunity to engage in pragmatic politics and to put forward polices that simultaneously promote both the interests of public school students— particularly those from disenfranchised communities—and national interests. She illustrates this argument through a chronicle imagining a future discussion among the president’s cabinet. Finally, she closes by describing the power of the president’s inauguration for uniting diverse communities and broadening the definition of everyday people.

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    Gloria Ladson-Billings conducts research that focuses on the successful teaching of African American students, culturally relevant pedagogy, and critical race theory approaches to education. She is the author of Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (1994), and her work has appeared in Educational Researcher, American Educational Research Journal, and Teachers College Record.

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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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