Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    An Earned Insurgency

    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right

    Robert P. Moses
    In the following pages, Robert Moses tells the history of the early civil rights movement in Mississippi, focusing on the individuals, alliances, and strategies that brought about fundamental change in the United States and ultimately made possible the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Moses describes how the efforts of Justice Department officials working from the “top” of society combined with the day-to-day work of sharecroppers and organizers at the “bottom” to challenge Jim Crow. His story takes us from the front lines of the movement in Mississippi to his contemporary efforts to ensure that all children in this country receive a quality education. While working from the bottom of today’s movement for educational equality, he calls on Obama to provide the leadership needed at the top to ensure lasting change. In this “illuminated story” he infuses his narration (in sans serif ) with his own reflections and insights about the lessons this story offers.

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    Robert P. Moses was an organizer and field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was a driving force in organizing the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1991, with concerned parents, teachers, and activists, he founded the Algebra Project, which uses experiential approaches to help public school students enter a college preparatory math sequence.

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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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