Quotes on education by barack obama

09.11.2019
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Barack Obama quotes about change, education, and equality

Looking for inspirational Barack Obama quotes from his speeches, interviews and books?

Barack Obama has accomplished things that most people can only dream of. He was the first African American to assume the presidency and served for two terms.

Obama is also a bestselling author and philanthropist.

Who is Barack Obama?

Barack Obama came from humble beginnings before rising up to be one of the most powerful people in the world. During his youth, Obama played basketball and took his studies seriously.

Due to his intelligence and hard work, he achieved a full scholarship to Harvard University. After graduating at the top of his class, Obama became a journalist in New York City.

Barack Obama recognized that he could become a successful journalist if he worked his way up the ladder. He was a skilled writer and a hard worker.

However, he had different ambitions. He knew that he could make a difference through politics.

Before getting into politics, he lectured at the University of Chicago. During this time, he also worked on his first book, Dreams from My Father, a memoir about Obamas past and the influence his race had on his life. He also served on the board of a law firm.

Barack Obama had his eyes on the White House for years. He was determined to make a difference in the world and knew that being the president of the United States would be the best way to make an impact. He became the peoples candidate.

He had a very high approval rating and received record-breaking amounts of campaign funds. While the election against John McCain seemed close in the beginning, Barack Obama comfortably defeated him and became president of the United States.

He proceeded to beat Mitt Romney, thus securing his second term in office.

Looking for Barack Obama quotes?

Whether you agree with his politics or not, you have to admire his success story.

In that light, we hope you get some new insights through these BarackObama quotes.

Barack Obama quotes about hope

1.) Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones weve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about hope

2.) I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me thats not what Americas about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they dont contract them. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes on marriage

3.) If youre walking down the right path and youre willing to keep walking, eventually youll make progress. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about hope

4.) We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but dont want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential. Barack Obama

president Barack Obama quotes about hope

5.) We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks whats in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about america

6.) The future rewards those who press on. I dont have time to feel sorry for myself. I dont have time to complain. Im going to press on. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about the future

7.) Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. Weve blunted the Talibans momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about war

8.) It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about equal pay

9.) There is probably a perverse pride in my administrationthat we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody whos occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you cant be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion. Barack Obama

famous Barack Obama quotes

10.) I began feeling the way I imagine an actor or athlete must feel when, after years of commitment to a particular dreamhe realizes that hes gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces the choice of accepting this fact like a grownup and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quote about success

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

11.) I think what youre seeing is a profound recognition on the part of the American people that gays and lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our co-workers, and that theyve got to be treated like every other American. And I think that principle will win out. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on love

12.) If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists to protect them and to promote their common welfare all else is lost. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

13.) When we dont pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, thats when democracy breaks down. Thats when power is abused. Thats when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. Thats when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power because none of us are there to speak up and stop them. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

14.) Participation in public life doesnt mean that you all have to run for public office though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If electoral politics isnt your thing, continue the tradition so many of you started here at Michigan and find a way to serve your community and your country an act that will help you stay connected to your fellow citizens and improve the lives of those around you. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

15.) Today we are engaged in a deadly global struggle for those who would intimidate, torture, and murder people for exercising the most basic freedoms. If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction. Barack Obama

president Obama quotes on leadership

16.) In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power including strong and principled diplomacy. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on life

17.) On every front, there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger, but were going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress, that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future. Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about the american dream

18.) With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. Im going to press on for equality. Im going to press on for the sake of our children. Im going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I dont have time to feel sorry for myself. I dont have time to complain. I am going to press on. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes about change

19.) We didnt become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didnt come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didnt do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell. Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about the american dream

20.) In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We cant afford it. And I refuse to renew them again. Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

MoreBarack Obama quotes about education and change

21.) The shift to a cleaner energy economy wont happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. Barack Obama

barack obama quotes climate change

22.) The thing about hip-hop today is its smart, its insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about education

23.) Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes, he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. Shake it off. Stop complainin. Stop grumblin. Stop cryin. We are going to press on. We have work to do. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes on leadership

24.) Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference. Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about the american dream

25.) We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about education

Barack Obama quotes that will elevate your thinking

26.) My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didnt, couldnt end there. At least thats what I would choose to believe.Barack Obama

27.) When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you dont really have to do anything, you just let them talk.Barack Obama

28.) Im the president of the United States. Im not the emperor of the United States. Barack Obama

29.) Change is never easy, but always possible.Barack Obama

30.) The cynics may be the loudest voices but I promise you, they will accomplish the least.Barack Obama

31.) You cant let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.Barack Obama

32.) Nothing in life thats worth anything is easy. Barack Obama

33.) We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it. Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes to inspire and teach

34.) In the end, thats what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? Barack Obama

35.) If you run you stand a chance of losing, but if you dont run youve already lost. Barack Obama

36.) The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room, and then to start trying to figure out how is this problem going to be solved. Barack Obama

37.) I think when you spread the wealth around its good for everybody. Barack Obama

38.) Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled. ? Barack Obama

39.) Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. Barack Obama

40.) If you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like or who you love. Barack Obama

41.) Keep exploring. Keep dreaming. Keep asking why. Dont settle for what you already know. Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world. Barack Obama

42.) We are the change we have been waiting for. ? Barack Obama

Other insightful Barack Obama quotes

43.) We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation. Barack Obama

44.) Michelles like Beyonce in that song. Let me upgrade ya! She upgraded me. Barack Obama

45.) We dont turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. Barack Obama

46.) What Washington needs is adult supervision. Barack Obama

47.) Where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. Barack Obama

48.) You can put lipstick on a pig. Its still a pig. ? Barack Obama

49.) When times get tough, we dont give up. We get up. Barack Obama

50.) We may not be able to stop evil in the world, but how we treat one another is entirely up to us. ? Barack Obama

What are your favorite Barack Obama quotes?

Barack Obama is known for being different than most politicians. He emphasized that he was going to work to change things for the better throughout his campaign and presidency. Though Congress turned down many of his laws, he passed important bills, including the health care reform.

He also removed the dont ask, dont tell policy in the military, gave marriage rights to all, raisedminimum wage, and worked to release nonviolent criminals to give them another chance at life.

What other Barack Obama quotes would you add to the list?


quotes on education by barack obama
Barack Obama Quotes (Author of Dreams from My Father)

Barack Obama Barack Obama > Quotes


Barack Obama quotes Showing 1-30 of 588

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
? Barack Obama tags: change, inspirational 3078 likes Like The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Dont wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.
? Barack Obama tags: determination, helping-others, hope, initiative, just-do-it, proactivity, service, volunteerism, work 2380 likes Like A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.
? Barack Obama tags: activism, commitment, politics 929 likes Like Yes We Can!
? Barack Obama tags: action, hope, positivity 531 likes Like We are the change we have been waiting for.
? Barack Obama tags: carpe-diem, change 449 likes Like In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
? Barack Obama tags: america, history, hope 313 likes Like In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.
? Barack Obama tags: challenge, change, civic-responsibility, patriotism, trial 296 likes Like I'm inspired by the people I meet in my travels--hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I'm inspired by the love people have for their children. And I'm inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.
? Barack Obama tags: family, hope, service 280 likes Like If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.
? Barack Obama 245 likes Like If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer - even if it's not my grandparent. If there's an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don't have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman's right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief - I am my brothers keeper, I am my sisters keeper - that makes this country work.
? Barack Obama tags: politician 223 likes Like There's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America.
? Barack Obama tags: politics 219 likes Like One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.
? Barak Obama tags: barak-obama 185 likes Like We don't ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.
? Barack Obama 184 likes Like I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody's religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.
? Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream 176 likes Like Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.
? Barack Obama 151 likes Like What Ive realized is that life doesnt count for much unless youre willing to do your small part to leave our children all of our children a better world. Any fool can have a child. That doesnt make you a father. Its the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.
? Barack Obama tags: inspirational 150 likes Like No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend it's about your 'religious freedom'. If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.
? Barack Obama 143 likes Like Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.
? Barack Obama 140 likes Like its important to make sure that were talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.
? Barack Obama tags: communication, friendship, healing 137 likes Like Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
? Barack Obama 133 likes Like Why can't I just eat my waffle?
? Barack Obama 111 likes Like The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past.
? Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance tags: africa, colonialism, history 97 likes Like Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
? Barack Obama tags: hope 96 likes Like I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
? Barack Obama tags: barack-obama, change, courage, hope 96 likes Like Our stories may be singular, but our destination is shared.
? Barack Obama tags: 2008, victory-speech 96 likes Like You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig.
? Barack Obama 84 likes Like More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world--a place where we've always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward. . . . .

Libraries remind us that truth isn't about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information. Because even as we're the most religious of people, America's innovative genius has always been preserved because we also have a deep faith in facts.

And so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we've changed their lives forever, and for the better. This is an enormous force for good.
? Barack Obama

84 likes Like While we breathe, we will hope.
? Barack Obama 84 likes Like No one is pro-abortion.
? Barack Obama 83 likes Like You cant let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.
? Barack Obama 80 likes Like
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The Education of Barack Obama
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Photo illustration by Michael Xiao.

EDITORS NOTE:&This article is part of The Nations special issue on Barack Obamas presidency, available in full here.

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What does it mean to be progressive on education issues? Eight years ago, when President Obama came into office, this was a hotly contested question. The Democratic Party was split into two camps. On one side were union allies, researchers, and policy-makers who argued that childrens academic performance would only improve with better-trained teachers, smaller class sizes, greater access to early-childhood education, and stronger antipoverty efforts. On the other side was the bipartisan education-reform movement. Its major achievement was No Child Left Behind, the law signed by George W. Bush in 2002, which required annual standardized testing in reading and math. By 2008, this camp was loudly promoting the idea that test scores should be used to evaluate and fire teachers. The movements leaders were crusading school superintendents like Joel Klein in New York City and Michelle Rhee in Washington, DC, as well as philanthropists like Bill Gates and Eli Broad. They wanted to increase the number of charter schools (which are generally not unionized), and they blamed union protections and school-district policiesnot family povertyfor the achievement gap between poor and middle-class kids.

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Obama rose to prominence promising to bridge political divisions. When he announced in December 2008 that he would appoint Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan as his secretary of education, the president-elect seemed to be staying true to form. In Chicago, Duncan had experimented with using student test scores to determine teacher pay and which schools to shut down, angering the local teachers union. Yet he was also a big proponent of quality early-childhood education, a rare source of consensus between the traditional and reformer camps.

From the Archives: Why I Changed My Mind by Diane Ravitch, from the June 14, 2010, issue of The Nation.

Once in office, Obama and Duncan funded some programs that unified groups across the progressive spectrum, such as improving the quality and size of state pre-K programs and renovating school buildings. But by and large, when it came to K12 policy, the administrations first six years were defined by an aggressive reform agenda that left the traditional camp, especially the teachers unions, playing defense. Only since 2014 has there been a detente in what many, myself included, termed the teacher wars. Grassroots activism from the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as from tens of thousands of parents who opted their children out of standardized testing, helped shift the terms of the debate. We now talk almost as much about school discipline, unequal school funding, and school segregation as we do about low test scores and teacher tenure. Its a profound change in rhetoric.

Had Hillary Clinton been elected president, new public policy could have flowed from this shift in priorities. But instead, Donald Trump is returning to ideas about education reform that now sound stale. He has chosen Betsy DeVos, a Republican fund-raiser and school-choice philanthropist, as his secretary of education. DeVoss passion is redirecting public-school funding to vouchers that parents can use to pay for private-school tuitiona strategy that has little track record of improving student achievement. The holistic school-improvement agenda that President Obama embraced over the past two years is now on life support.

* * *

In March 2009, Obama appeared before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to announce his signature education initiative, Race to the Top. From the moment students enter a school, the most important factor in their success is not the color of their skin or the income of their parents; its the person standing at the front of the classroom, he said. Let me be clear: If a teacher is given a chance or two chances or three chances but still does not improve, theres no excuse for that person to continue teaching.

This rhetoric was borrowed directly from the education-reform movement, which spoke often about the supposed power of great teaching to overcome poverty. In fact, according toresearch, at least three in-school factors impact student achievement about as much as teachers do: peer demographics (students learn more in a racially and socioeconomically diverse classroom); the effectiveness of the schools principal; and the level of funding. Out-of-school factors, like the socioeconomic status of the parents and the safety and income level of the familys neighborhood, outweigh the impacts of all in-school factors added together.

Those nuances were not, at first, reflected in Obamas school-reform agenda. Race to the Top told states and school districts that if they wanted a share of the $4 billion in discretionary federal dollars, they would need to evaluate teachers using evidence of student learning (generally, test scores). They would also need to weaken tenure protections to remove underperforming teachers; lift caps on the number of independently operated charter schools allowed to open; and turn around failing schools, sometimes by removing veteran teachers and principals or handing the schools over to charter operators. There were no new federal incentives for desegregating schools, or for equalizing funding between those that served rich and poor children.

Given [that Obama] took office at the height of the recession, says Pedro Noguera, a professor of education at New York University, the most surprising thing was that he didnt acknowledge the poverty that schools were dealing with. [His administration] never said schools are overwhelmed by kids who are hungry, whose parents lost their homes, lost their jobs. Instead, they kind of kept on the same path that Bush had been on, emphasizing standards and accountability and accelerating it by calling for more school closures, replacing teachers and principals. They seized on very simplistic solutions to complex problems.

The Obama administration seized on very simplistic solutions to complex problems. Pedro Noguera

Amid the recession, local governments were desperate for a cash infusion from Washington. More than half of the states in the nation changed their education laws in response to Obamas incentives. Arguably the biggest change was in the way principals evaluated teachers work. Previously, many teachers had received only a single, cursory classroom observation each year. New state laws required principals to observe teachers work more frequently. Teachers have been asked to reflect more deeply on their practice and strive to improve. There has been a revival of interest in cooperative lesson planning, in which teachers work in teams, and in peer review, in which mentor teachers coach novices. These are good things.

But Obamas teacher-evaluation push also led to an explosion of standardized testing, in order to gather the student data needed to judge teachers work. I traveled to Colorado in the fall of 2010, where a new state law required 50 percent of every teachers evaluation score to be based on student-achievement data. In Harrison School District 2, a low-income, largely Latino district in Colorado Springs, children as young as 6 were taking pencil-and-paper tests in gym, art, and music. As many as 25 days per school year were spent on testing, a number that would soon become commonplace nationwide. A year later, I told Secretary Duncan at a private meeting with education writers about a physical-education test that second-graders had taken in Harrison, in which they were asked to draw a picture of two hands catching a ball. Gym teachers were being evaluated and paid according to how well 7-year-olds could do that. Duncan looked concerned and told me that the administration had never intended schools to adopt such narrow and hastily conceived testing policies.

Nonetheless, the unintended consequences of the administrations teacher-evaluation push continued to pile up. Many school districts dealt with the lack of quality standardized tests in science, history, the arts, and the early grades by using third- through eighth-grade reading and math scores to evaluate teachers of other subjects and grade levels. The rationale was that all teachers efforts eventually contribute to a students future test scores in reading and math. Testing experts decried that practice, called shared attribution, as totally unscientific.

Given these absurdities, no one should have been surprised by the growth of a vibrant opt-out movement driven by educators and upper-middle-class parents. In July 2014, delegates to the annual conference of the National Education Association, the nations largest teachers union, passed a resolution asking Duncan to resign, and launched a campaign to end what they called toxic testing. In New York in 2015, 20 percent of students opted out of the end-of-year tests tied to the new Common Core standards in English and mathanother controversial priority of the education-reform movement.

The Black Lives Matter movement helped shift the national conversation on education reform.

The Obama administration didnt create the Common Core. It was launched in 2008 by a bipartisan coalition of governors and philanthropists, and it had a laudable goal: to create a rigorous set of curriculum standards that could be shared across all 50 states. To support the effort, Obama invested $350 million to develop new tests tied to these standards. Many of the tests were produced by for-profit companies like Pearson.

In response, activists on the left began to echo a long-running call from the right to do away with the Common Core entirely. While the Tea Partyand later Trumpsaw it as a classic example of federal overreach, the left argued that the Common Core caused stress for children while narrowing the curriculum to the questions asked on low-quality exams. Testing also came under attack after journalists and government investigators revealed evidence of standardized-test cheating in at least 40 states. The most infamous case was in Atlanta, where employees across the district corrected students answer sheets and then earned financial bonuses for high scores.

Finally, in the fall of 2015, the Obama administration released new guidance to the states on how to reduce and improve testing. In too many schools, there is unnecessary testing and not enough clarity of purpose applied to the task of assessing students, consuming too much instructional time and creating undue stress for educators and students, the Department of Education stated. The Administration bears some of the responsibility for this, and we are committed to being part of the solution. A few months later, Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind. ESSA continues to require annual testing in reading and math, but removes pressure for all teachers to be evaluated using student test scores. The law asks states to judge school quality in new ways, by considering student-discipline policies and whether all kids have access to advanced courses.

With new research showing that poor children who attend schools with higher per-pupil funding outperform those whose schools have less cash, Obama has also sought to influence how states and municipalities fund schools. This year, he proposed a regulation that would withhold ESSA money from states and school districts that send more local dollars to schools serving affluent children than poor ones. Congressional Republicans and many local education officials from both parties are resisting the regulation, known as supplement, not supplant. It is simply impossible to imagine President-elect Trump, who campaigned on the premise of local control of education, continuing Obamas fight on this front.

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Also at risk are victories in the area of college policy. In 2010, the administration pushed a major student-loan reform through Congress, removing for-profit middlemen so that the federal government provides more cost-effective loans directly to students. The administration also increased the income-based repayment of student loans and loan forgiveness for graduates who choose careers in the public interest. In the second term, Obamas gainful employment rule has spelled disaster for predatory for-profit colleges. Under this regulation, for-profit colleges whose graduates are unable to find work are no longer able to accept students who rely on Pell grants. Hundreds of low-quality schools have gone out of business, and hundreds more are on life support.

The cost of college, however, has continued to skyrocket over the past eight years, even at public universities. That issue drove Bernie Sanderss presidential campaign and led Hillary Clinton to propose free in-state public-college tuition for students from families earning under $125,000. Trump has spoken often about college affordability, acknowledging that students are choking on those loans. He has promised to cap repayments at 12.5 percent of a borrowers income and forgive loans after 15 yearsa plan very similar to the one Obama already has in place.

Even so, its difficult to envision Trump holding for-profit schools accountable for their dismal outcomes. After all, he paid $25 million to settle lawsuits accusing him of defrauding students enrolled in his own Trump University. More likely, he will seek to help for-profit schools reestablish their foothold while attacking traditional nonprofit institutionsthose colleges most associated with the cultural elite he and his supporters ridicule. Trump has said that he would require wealthy universities to spend more of their endowments on student services and less on administration, or risk losing their tax-exempt status. This would do little to touch the lives of low-income students, who generally attend colleges without significant endowments.

* * *

In August 2014, police in Ferguson, Missouri, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who had recently graduated from a segregated high school. The Black Lives Matter movement rose to national prominence. New cell-phone videos of violent encounters between black citizens and police emerged at a rapid clip. Four months later, Obama created a task force to examine policing.

Though less noted among its victories, this police-accountability movement also helped shift the national conversation on education reform. Since the school shootings of the 1990s, the number of police officers working in schools has exploded, due in part to federal funding earmarked for hiring so-called school resource officers. In 1975, 1 percent of American schools reported a police officer working on campus, compared with 21 percent of schools in 2008. Schools with police officers are more likely to report students to law enforcement for ordinary infractions like student fights. Even when the police are not involved, students of color and disabled students are more likely to be suspended or expelled than white and nondisabled students who commit identical behavioral infractions. Organizations like the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center had long been working on these issues, and the Obama administration picked up the torch. In 2014, the Education and Justice departments released new guidelines on school discipline, directing states and districts to end racial disparities in their suspension rates and to use restorative-justice practices and counseling to address student misbehavior.

The expansion of charter schools seems likely to be the most lasting of Obamas education reforms.

Duncan stepped down at the end of 2015; his successor is John King Jr., who co-founded a celebrated charter school in Boston and later served as New York States commissioner of education. In that job, King tussled with opt-out and Common Core protesters, but as secretary hes championed a different set of issues. In April, he announced a program of modest federal grants for school districts that try to increase the racial and socioeconomic diversity of their classrooms. In August, he visited a magnet school in Hartford, Connecticut, to celebrate that regions urban/suburban school-desegregation program and to support the Stronger Together Act, an effort by congressional Democrats to fund experiments in school integration. This fall, King sent a letter to schools across the country about the need for a positive mental-health approach to school discipline instead of relying on police. Sounding like an activist, he wrote that he was concerned about the unnecessary and harmful introduction of children and young adults into a school-to-prison pipeline.

With Republicans set to control all three branches of government, Washington will likely play no role in school-discipline reform or school desegregation. Progressive efforts on those issues will devolve entirely to states and cities. Considering Trumps law-and-order rhetoric and support from police associations, he could even seek to expand the role of police in schools. He could also choose to end the Obama administrations efforts to collect new types of data on racial disparities in education, such as suspension rates and bullying incidents.

* * *

The expansion of the charter-school sector seems likely to be the most lasting of Obamas education reforms. When the president came into office, 1.6 million American children were enrolled in charter schools; in 2014, that number was 2.5 million, or 5 percent of the public-school population. While there is no grassroots constituency for standardized testing or punitive teacher evaluationspolicies that educators, parents, and students generally dislikedecent charter schools create advocates the moment they open their doors. Parents and communities fight hard for the schools in which they enroll their kids, even when those schools are flawed.

Yet the charter movement has had trouble developing a base of support beyond the families its schools serve. On November 8, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative that would have expanded the number of charter schools, even though the states charter-school sector is among the nations highest- performing. And in October, the NAACPs board of directors approved a statement opposing charter schools.

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While charter schools are divisive among progressives, they will remain central to conservative policy-making. Trumps boldest education idea is a $20 billion federal program to fund local school-choice efforts: charters, magnet schools, and private-school vouchers. He has not said exactly where this enormous amount of moneyfive times the size of Race to the Topwould come from, but presumably it would entail raiding Title I, the civil-rights program that, since 1965, has directed federal dollars to schools that serve large numbers of poor children.

A decade ago, I began my career as an education reporter worried that problems like segregation and unequal school funding were being ignored in favor of small-bore reforms on teacher tenure and merit pay. So Ive welcomed the Obama administrations shifts over the last two years. Now, under Trump, we are about to experience severe education-policy whiplash. Whats virtually certain is that a limited Trumpian agenda of school choice and confronting teachers unions will fail to close achievement gapsafter all, these policies have never been silver bullets in the pastand this will further feed notions of the public schools as failure factories. Whats more, if congressional Republicans succeed in decimating the social safety net, the resulting increase in child poverty will also negatively impact academic outcomes. On the other hand, nearly 90 percent of school funding comes from state and municipal governments. If progressive education advocacyon desegregation, fair funding, and equal access to strong teachers and rich curriculumsis to be effective over the next several years, it will have to focus strategically on statehouses, school boards, city councils, and mayoral races.

Quotable Quotes: on Education by Barack Obama
President Barack Obama addresses the House Dem...
President Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The country that out-educates us today will out-compete us tomorrow. Barack Obama

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