Education in Obama's Second Term: Forward? despite Ambitious Plans, Financial and Political Roadblocks Will Make True Progress Difficult

By House, Jenny | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), December 2012 | Go to article overview

Education in Obama's Second Term: Forward? despite Ambitious Plans, Financial and Political Roadblocks Will Make True Progress Difficult


House, Jenny, T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


This election season, "Forward" was the watchword of President Barack Obama's campaign.

During the election battle, it stood for moving ahead with four more years of his leadership, and for the future-focused thinking the president espoused as a candidate. But what does "forward" mean for President Obama's second term in office as far as education is concerned? What changes and challenges can we expect in 2013 and beyond?

During Obama's first term, his educational agenda was marked by serious plans to improve the nation's schools through signature reforms. Ambitious competitive programs were introduced, and many new dollars went to education through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation (i3), and School Improvement Grants.

All these measures were aimed at getting our students to be college- and career-ready, to create great teachers and leaders, and to turn around low-performing schools. There has also been a continuing emphasis on the important role of early childhood education and STEM. More than $100 billion has gone to these programs, most of which have been under way for two to three years now.

The Race to the Top-District (RttT-D) competition was introduced this past summer, and awardees will be announced this month. Successful districts will receive $5 million to $40 million each to implement rigorous plans required by the competition. RttT-D continues to focus on underperforming schools, college and career preparation, and teacher quality. Additional requirements include promises to deliver a personalized learning environment, plus upfront buy-in of the strategic technology plan from the district, the superintendent, the local teachers union, and the school board--a tall order that some districts have not been able to meet.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

So what will happen to this and other programs in Obama's second term? Here are some specific challenges that will need to be addressed.

The Economy

According to exit polls conducted by CNN during the November elections, 60 percent of American voters reported the economy as their number one issue, and without a doubt the economy will have a powerful effect on education in 2013. We are still waiting for Congress to reach agreement on the Budget Control Act, and the president faces a huge challenge in trying to get a bipartisan agreement on this issue, especially in a lame-duck session.

If, by January, Congress does not come to an agreement or take measures to prevent sequestration, we will see shocking trigger cuts that could hit education programs with reductions of between 7.8 and 9.1 percent.

These cuts would not be felt until the 2013-14 school year, but many school districts are tightening their belts right now. If sequestration happens, it would be the biggest cut to education in recent history, and could result in job losses of 75,000 or more.

A Partisan Congress

Once the lame-duck session works through the tough challenge of sequestration by either coming to an agreement or delaying it, then it's on to the 113th Congress, which is arguably just as divided as the 112th. With a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and a Republican House, it will be challenging to reach consensus, especially if the parties hold to their lines. Congress is fairly evenly divided: The Senate will be 55/45 Democratic and the House 234/201 Republican. Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act during this period seems unlikely, particularly in the first year.

Will there be new dollars for education? That remains to be seen. Both parties have similar stated goals for education, but their approaches are starkly different. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, for example, favored having funds "follow the child," whereas the Obama administration favors a proactive approach to distribution of federal dollars through competitive programs like Race to the Top. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Education in Obama's Second Term: Forward? despite Ambitious Plans, Financial and Political Roadblocks Will Make True Progress Difficult
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.