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Obama’s Obstacles to Educational Change: Race, Racism, and Reform

The Obama Administration and Educational Reform

ISBN: 978-1-78350-709-2

ISSN: 1479-358X

Publication date: 1 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is concerned with the obstacles of educational reform in a racial climate and the acceptance of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

Design/methodology/approach

As a result, while the president’s positions on educational reform are important, the question still remains; can the majority of Whites support an agenda coming from a Black president? Moreover, as a Black man, can the president really be “allowed” to be a “representative” of all of the people? Do many people think that the election of Mr. Obama ushered in a “postracial” society; in that he is the living testament that we no longer need to focus on social justice, civil rights, and educational reform, especially for underperforming minority schools? Is race a factor among Whites and Blacks regarding President Obama’s approval ratings? How much success can any president expect to have when a significant majority of the population is resistant to his vision of “change?”

Findings

Based upon these lingering questions, the issue of race has been and will remain a factor in the Obama presidency that no other president has had to contend. Obfuscation, control, and fear appear to be the raison d’être regarding a strategy of resistance toward President Obama and his interest in “change.” These are the reasons why President Obama’s time is significantly spent on negotiating racial obstacles to change.

Originality/value

The goal of this paper is to provide a sociological and psychological context within a historical framing to understand obstacles to change faced by President Barack Hussein Obama.

Keywords

Citation

Smith, W.A. (2014), "Obama’s Obstacles to Educational Change: Race, Racism, and Reform", The Obama Administration and Educational Reform (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 237-254. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-358X20130000010012

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited