On February 22, 2010, President Obama spoke to an assembly of the National Governors Association about the importance of strengthening our education system, saying that “America’s prosperity has always rested on how well we educate our children.” Citing intense international competition and the fact that six in 10 American businesses cannot find the qualified workers that they need, Obama discussed the steps his administration is proposing to improve education by expanding the $4 billion Race to the Top fund in Fiscal Year 2011 and the redesign of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year.
As a condition to receiving Title I formula funding, Obama proposes requiring that all schools put in place a plan to adopt and certify college- and career-ready standards for math and reading. This condition will also be in place for planned competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Education for improving teacher quality, enhancing curricula, and developing high-quality assessments. Combined with previous proposals to increase Pell Grants, extend the $2,500 college tuition tax credit, and strengthen community colleges, Obama argues that these steps are necessary to give our students, workers, and businesses every chance to succeed.
Watch the video of President Obama’s speech on the White House website. The transcript is available as well.