Will the "Obama effect" help close the racial-performance gap?

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kathryn murdock (not verified)

Obama

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It would be nice to think that Presdient Obama will have a positive effect on all young blacks. Several years ago I did a project using working women in our small ocmmunity. These ere presented in the form of posters and distributed to all the schools. These showed women at work in a variety of fields (no teachers or lawyers)
The positive effect came through loud and clear in the surveys. These were oeople the children recognized and could relate to in a personal way. When asked about fmaous "working" women the answer was usually - "Well but theyre famous so they get to do that stuff". but about those that they reognized. it was more" so I could od that."
I think that this could happen in the case of president Obama. "He's fmaous, rich and now Presdident. Well he can do that but it has nothing to do with me, black or not."
Somebody prove me wrong please.
Thank you

jim kilkenny (not verified)

Obama effect

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I voted yes. However, I need to clarify my statement. Many physical barriers to improving and then eliminating the gap need to happen. We need to get lead out of old schools. We need to get asbestos out of old schools. We need to care for these kids. In areas where lead is out of the water system, ACT scores have risen. In areas where houses contain no lead paint scores have risen. What do I think? It isn't role model alone, it is stimulating comerce to build and remodel schools in poor areas of the country. Places where food, air, and water is tainted and needs to be clean enough to help.

donnah robinson (not verified)

the Obama effect

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Obama is a refreshing presence and will undoubtly have a positive affect on the lives of many people both adults and children here and in many other countries. We are all proud of him, love he and the Obama family (our First Family) In his life he has reached and accomplished. He is not without a background which he talks about freely and openly. His mother waking him at 4am to read or to complete homework before she went to work. Talks with his grandfather and grandmother, a caring enviroment. Every child deserves and needs a warm body there beside him or her listening, talking with, watching movies together, visiting grandpa, aunt Sue, or Uncle John, shopping, dancing, singing and doing homework together, helping in the neighborhood, solving problems and cleaning house together. If Obama can inspire people, and parents to stand taller, be a little more protective and aware of our children, the rippling effects will be expential. (My humble opinion)If the hands that have a child, help that child and holds child, that child will feel loved. And when you feel loved the possibility of you making healthy decisions during your life increases. Then along comes an Obama or not--, "your" mama love will cause you to follow him or not. As a teacher of 28 years, mother of 5, daughter, sister, aunt, neice and friend, I believe that children love the attenion of their own family.

Lynn Morris (not verified)

Will Obama effect the racial divide?

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I am a white kindergarten teacher in West Virginia who has been working for President Obama, campaigning since before the primaries and am now joining support groups across the US to support his legislation. The first day I canvassed in WV was an eye opener for me. I was able to see how some of my young black children live. I knew then that these children needed a role model, somebody who would be a voice for them. Little did I know how much the new President was going to teach me by his example. Yes, the test scores will improve for all children because he has given hope. Look at the money he is pouring into education! I was angry when some of the money was cut out of the Senate version of the stimulus bill. But, I am still excited about the changes that are coming. We will be able to see this NCLB legislation buried where it belongs. The day of the Inauguration I put CNN on my interactive whiteboard and taught my children about the new president. I was elated when I could cover up a picture of the current president (Bush) on one of our SS charts with the face of Obama. I can't wait to go to Disney World and see the President exhibit with Obama added. I know in my heart that this man can do only good for our country. I expect to see all of our test scores improve. His influence is seen in all ethnic groups.

Jeanie (not verified)

Obama Effect

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As much as I would like to think that the Obama effect will help the test scores of low performing black students, I am afraid that NCLB has made such a mess of the education system, that nothing short of a complete overhaul of American Education is going to help these students right now.

Since the early 2000's we have taught kids that hard work does not matter. All someone has to do is sit, do nothing, and then pass a test at the end of the year to go on to the next grade. Sometimes, they don't even have to pass the test if their parents complain loudly and to the right people. As a result, many students at my school, which is 51% non-white, don't think there is any reason to show effort at all - except for three days at the end of the school year.

Look at the young people coming out of college, businesses are complaining that they have no work ethic, that parents are too involved with their work life, and they can't think for themselves. I am afraid that we have made such a mess of things, its going to take another 100 years to recover.

jb (not verified)

The "Obama effect" will have

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The "Obama effect" will have a tremendous impact on our youth. I think we will see an increase in self confidence. They now see that they can truly accomplish anything with hard work and dedication no matter what their cicumstances are. Remember a lot of our earlier role models beat the odds of segregation and poverty to become successful in life. Somehow we have lost sight of the hope and inspiration that they gave us. Now our youth can relate to another positive role model to give them hope and inspiration for the future.

Keith Adolphson (not verified)

Obama effect poll

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This poll trivializes a complex issue and totally ignores a major contributing factor. Children from low SES (all races) are far more likely to be exposed significant levels of lead in their homes. This affects their cognitive development and correlates to impulsivity and higher crime rates in adolescence and adulthood. This explains much of the gap between achievement of low SES students and other populations. The lead problem has been well documented and, conversely, studiously ignored by administrations and Congress, especially those who have a political interest in denigrating public education. Witness, the removal of "non-productive" home lead abatement funding from the latest effort by Congress to address the economy.

Susan Mullis (not verified)

Obama effect

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There was another study reported on in a TV report ...Brown vs Board of Education: 50 years later. The program ended with the realization that changes that were expected for African American students reared by middle and upper class families,did not materialize, as expected. It said that the shocking result was that the students didn't think of themselves as smart as their anglo classmates. That is definitely a causative factor in achievement. If that study result was valid, it makes perfect sense that the election of an African American president would impact that self impression. I am ecstatic. Maybe now we can truely move beyond the sins of the past and all students can achieve their potential.

Malcolm (not verified)

The, "Obama effect", sounds

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The, "Obama effect", sounds a lot like the study noted in Malcolm Gladwell's book, "Blink". In it, I believe, black students were shown images of famous, "positive" African Americans. As a result, the students' performance was better than those who had not. We, whetere we know it or not, are strongly influenced by we see. Think about the last time a stranger smiled at you - how did it make you feel? Great I bet.

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