Obama Education Legacy

The Obama Education Legacy Series

As people who have been on the inside, we at ERN intend to cover many things that Presidents do that make a difference that we hope will surprise you. While it’s obvious we’re not philosophically opposed to that role, we’ll strive to be candid about both its strengths and limitations. We want to catalyze both new ideas and fresh ways of thinking and provide a practical guide on how things get from the campaign trail to the Oval Office to the classroom.

The Obama Education Legacy Series will comprise a variety of white papers, issue briefs, and related blog posts on how this President, Barack Obama, has changed education for millions of Americans over the course of his tenure. We think he deserves an enormous amount of credit for raising the bar and expanding educational opportunity, arguably more than any President in recent memory.

Not everything went equally well, though. In other cases the jury is still out or the clock for action is winding down. We’ll cover those things too in the hope that the next President continues to do what’s worked and spends less time on what hasn’t.


Policy Brief | Resources and Reform: The Obama Administration’s Higher Education Legacy and the 45th President’s Challenge

By Michael Dannenberg and Mary Nguyen Barry

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President Obama invested more in student financial aid than any American President in history. The deeper story though is Obama extended the federal higher education policy paradigm beyond financial aid into areas of college quality and degree completion. There have been successes and disappointments.

The Obama administration cracked down on shoddy for-profit trade schools, moved to hold teacher education programs accountable
for K-12 student outcomes, and challenged states and colleges to increase degree attainment levels.  Download the attached for an early read on the results.

The big question is: How will the next President proceed? Will he or she retreat to a politically comfortable role, promoting only Resources OR Reform for higher education? Or will he or she rise to the challenge of embracing the new paradigm of Resources AND Reform in higher education?

Recommended are a series of steps toward the latter.

See related blog posts. 

Video | Sneak Peek at Obama’s Higher Ed Legacy

By Hajar Ahmed

Video | Obama’s Crackdown on For-Profit Colleges

By Hajar Ahmed

Blogs | See related blog posts on the Obama education legacy

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