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Where can I get more information on Obama education reform?

I’m doing my dissertation research on education in the United States. I need to be enlightened on educational reforms and national education policy. What are the most significant educational reforms in the 21st century and who have been the major faces behind those reforms? How have different administrations contributed to this in the last half-century? How does Obama education reform fit into a great movement for educational reforms in the US?  Is Obama administration education reform 2014 the most significant reform in the 21st century?

Naomi Doyle

in Education News

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Jodi Brooks on March 6, 2018

Once President Obama famously said, “countries which out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow”. Educational reform under Obama has generally been favorable and I tend to agree with most of it. Starting with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA 2009), $5B was allocated to early childhood programs and an additional 77B for secondary and elementary education. ARRA funds Race to the Top which awards educators and principals within school districts by sustaining them when they attain and maintain set standards. State funding through this has seen Charter Schools encouraged which have also produced effective results. Race to the Top also promotes funding for schools which actually adhere to results, which include improved learning standards, the effectiveness of educators and improving programs that promote learning in low-income neighborhoods.

The Promise Neighborhood Grants under Obama also promote learning for kids in these neighborhoods to access well-built parental and community structures.

Obama’s 2014 education reform agenda also tried to build on the STEM subjects by allocating $3.1B in federal funding to STEM programs, with millions of dollars more to recruit qualified educators and investing in bets teaching practices for STEM programs. One of Obama’s better-known educational reform efforts came with a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act which basically aims at improving local and state schools by giving them more power. Unlike its Bush predecessor, this bill aimed to reduce the punitive measures imposed on states and schools that don’t match expectations, but also preserves federally mandated standardized tests. The bill was a bi-partisan success the President himself referred to as a ‘Christmas miracle’ because in effect, everyone was in agreement that the federal government shouldn’t control too much of how schools operate or achieve their mandates. It removes timelines on when kids should be able to read or do certain levels of math, although there are extra requirements for schools that struggle the most.

Obama tried to work on most aspects of 21st-century educational reforms although being such a big and complex country as the US is, it was bound to be a challenge. The US education system is plagued by various issues such as funding standardized testing, independent service providers and charters and low-income education states. Although, the national educational policy and national reforms in education under Obama were the most significant, his vision for early childhood education wasn’t completely fulfilled.

Brian Warnera year ago

Obama education reform is quite contentious; a lot of people agree with his policies but some have a few reservations about what was implemented. The NCLB is a prime example of how the president went right, by getting Dems and Republicans to agree on common education reform. However, the law removed ramifications for schools which don’t meet performance expectations except for the statistical-bottom 5%, which was a bad move according to me. I think federal oversight is important as it makes sure states and schools adhere to strict standards. The flipside is that now states can impose their own regulations for education based on what they perceive as their needs and the local demographics.

Obama reforms also tried to incentivize teacher performance, with the aim of getting better performance from educators. Whether this works or not may vary according to states, but I feel it generally needs reviewing.


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