Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    Resurrecting Validity

    Keenan Ramsey
    6th grade, The Dalton School, New York, New York

    I remember when my great-grandmother, Elizabeth B. Mills, told me stories regarding her troubles being an African American woman. She told me about being kicked off a bus because she would not stand with an innocent life resting in her arms, who would be my great uncle Henry. She shared with me the hardships she faced being a very fair-skinned African American woman, and what it was like to feel lost—like a puzzle piece not belonging to any specific set. I wish she had lived to see Barack Obama, the first African American as the president of the United States. I know that she would have exhausted pride during every step on the road to his presidency. I would have seen the same sparkle in her hazel eyes as I had seen when I was accepted into one of the best schools in New York City. This election has brought me closer to my greatgrandmother in ways I am unaware of. The election validates to me something she always told me: that I could be anything I wished. Now after forty-three Caucasian presidents, there is a man of color—specifically an African American man. It is invigorating for children of color to be able to see someone who looks like them, someone who they can identify with, and someone who makes them believe that they can do anything. Barack Obama’s victory is restoring the hope that my great-grandmother once invested into my heart, and proving that my dreams can be a reality.

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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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