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What is the impact of Obama education reform?

When Barrack Obama became a president, he promised a great deal of development that included education reforms and national education policy that would benefit lower-income households. With most education policies in use being decades old, our schools needed education reforms in the 21st century. However, people yet to feel any positive changes. Fees are still high and the number of those who can afford to pay is low. Were the education reform 2014 felt anywhere else? What is the impact of Obama education reform?

Samantha Barber

in Education News

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Jodi Brooks on June 26, 2018

You’re right. President Obama started his presidency amid great expectations and hope. The American economy was not doing so well and the No Child Left Behind education law was out-of-date. Throughout his campaign, investing in reforming education was at the forefront of his agenda.

Real education reform by 2014 was one of the benefits we expected to feel. The first major step we saw is the quite talented appointees to the US Dept. of Education: most of them coming from the pro-reform wing of the Democrats. Then, he announced a $4.35 billion State grant program for education which all states had a chance to apply. Many government critics saw this move as a way to bring on board majority states so that they could support federal government’s education policies. Almost all states applied for the cash as they were badly in need of it. Eleven states and the District of Columbia won the grant amid making overambitious promises. The grant money, dubbed Race to the Top, required that students, who wish to apply for it, familiarize themselves with the new college-ready standards.

In a bid to bring about 21st-century education reforms quickly, he invested millions of dollars to the development of standard common core tests for pre-college students across America. Most states now have their tests but still, maintain the standards of the core test.

He used his life growing up as an African American to encourage and challenge both children and parents to invest in education saying that the government, unlike the parents, only played a secondary role to a child’s growth and development.

He also introduced school teachers’ evaluation through their student test scores. This new method, as you would well know, was not well received. Teachers through their unions along with lawmakers worked together to scrap it out. It was the first significant education reform by Obama’s administration to flop. Many states opted out.

Though some people today believe some of these policies were a success, they only enjoyed enthusiastic support in the beginning. Even those states that got the Race to the Top grant did not deliver on their promises.

The problem is, changing the then existing national education policy and bringing education reforms was not as easy as it was anticipated. Almost all the ambitious projects that the Obama government came to power with either didn’t materialize or flopped at the early stages. 

Nicholas Rivera9 months ago

I think that most of the Obama education reform impacts that you can still feel today are in higher education. The prohibitive cost of college in America was one of core agenda in his first days in office. Some of the notable steps he took were:

  • Increasing the spending capacity of community colleges: he allocated an additional $12 billion to community colleges to assist them in training more students.
  • He doubled the Pell Grant in an attempt to ease the high college costs especially for students in low income levels.
  • He also introduced a tuition tax-credit where students could enjoy tuition deductions.
  • Obama also introduced additional loans subsidies for students. A good example is the Affordable Care Act which allows a graduate student with a debt of above $30,000 to get federal government forgiveness.

Though college tuition fees eventually rose despite him putting them on notice, these changes were significant. 


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