“What is at stake is nothing less than the American dream. “
“That is inexcusable, and that is why I am calling on states that are setting their standards far below where they ought to be to stop low-balling expectations for our kids. The solution to low test scores is not lower standards – it’s tougher, clearer standards. Standards like those in Massachusetts, where 8th graders are now tying for first – first – in the world in science. Other forward-thinking states are moving in the same direction by coming together as part of a consortium. More states need to do the same. And I am calling on our nation’s Governors and state education chiefs to develop standards and assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, entrepreneurship and creativity. That is what we will help them do later this year when we finally make No Child Left Behind live up to its name by ensuring not only that teachers and principals get the funding they need, but that the money is tied to results. And Secretary Duncan will also back up this commitment to higher standards with a fund to invest in innovation in our school districts.”
(note from Julie– so glad to see a mention of entrepreneurship– the entrepreneurs of tomorrow will be crucial to the RECOVERY of our countries!! check out www.nfte.com to learn more about youth entrepreneurship education)
“For we know that economic progress and educational achievement have always gone hand in hand in America. Land-grant colleges and public high schools transformed the economy of an industrializing nation. The GI Bill generated a middle class that made America’s economy unrivaled in the 20th century. And investments in math and science under President Eisenhower made it possible for Sergei Brin to attend graduate school and found an upstart company called Google that would forever change our world.
The source of America’s prosperity, then, has never been merely how ably we accumulate wealth, but how well we educate our people. This has never been more true than it is today. In a 21st century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there’s an internet connection; where a child born in Dallas is competing with children in Delhi; where your best job qualification is not what you do, but what you know – education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity and success, it is a prerequisite.”
“…today, I am issuing a challenge to educators and lawmakers, parents and teachers alike – let us all make turning around our schools our collective responsibility as Americans. That will require new investments in innovative ideas. That is why my budget invests in developing new strategies to make sure at-risk students don’t give up on their education; new efforts to give dropouts who want to return to school the help they need to graduate; and new ways to put those young men and women who have left school back on a pathway to graduation.”
“In just a single generation, America has fallen from second place to eleventh place in the portion of students completing college. That is unfortunate but it is by no means irreversible. With resolve and the right investments, we can retake the lead once more. That is why, in my address to the nation the other week, I called on Americans to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training, with the goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020. To meet that goal, we are investing $2.5 billion to identify and support innovative initiatives across the country that achieve results in helping students persist and graduate.”