Date of Award

Summer 2012

Access Restriction

Campus Access only dissertations

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Yvette V. Lapayese, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Edmundo F. Litton, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Mary K. McCullough, Ph.D.

Abstract

This qualitative study examined 45 education speeches presented by President Obama and leaders of the U.S. Department of Education from January 2009 through December 2010. These speeches were interpreted with the use of critical discourse analysis and reviewed through the lens of interest convergence theory. The first aim of the researcher was to uncover the underlying ideologies represented in the Obama Administration’s education speeches. The second objective was to understand how those ideologies impacted the Administration’s proposed reform ideas. Specifically, the researcher was interested in how the underpinning ideologies and proposed solutions affected the education of poor students of color. The researcher found four primary ideologies in the education speeches. First, every speech was coupled with an economic agenda. Second, the speakers displayed great concern over America’s ability to remain a global economic leader. Third, there was an emphasis on the role of education in promoting equal opportunity and a belief in the American Dream. Finally, the speakers showed a deficit‐oriented perception of students of color. The researcher discovered that economic ideologies inspired the Obama Administration’s proposed solutions. As such, the author argues that the Obama Administration utilized interest convergence by focusing on the economic self‐interests of white policymakers. This study concludes with the author’s recommendations for change in the education of poor students of color. The author calls for strategic alliances throughout group identities in order to achieve educational equity.

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