Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Obama’s Dilemma

    Postpartisan Politics and the Crisis of American Education

    Henry A. Giroux
    In this essay, Henry Giroux frames the election of Barack Obama as an opportunity to shed the outdated neoliberal perspectives of previous presidential administrations and to recreate democracy and education for this new age. He argues that education must be reconceived as a tool for instituting the democratic values and social consciousness required for broad social change, and he questions the extent to which Obama’s “postpartisan” political approach will move our society away from a preoccupation with markets and toward a greater sense of civic responsibility. Critiquing current approaches to education reform, Giroux identifies an inherent conflict between Obama’s professed commitment to instating democratic equality and his appointment of Arne Duncan as secretary of education.

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    Henry A. Giroux researches cultural studies, youth studies, critical pedagogy, popular culture, media, social theory, and the politics of education. In 2002, he was included as one of Routledge’s Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education. His recent books include Against the Terror of Neoliberalism (2008) and Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability? (2009).

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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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