State of the Union 2012: Obama on education reform
Excerpt from the State of the Union 2012 – President Barack Obama on education reform:
“But to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier.
“For less than 1 percent of what our nation spends on education each year, we’ve convinced nearly every state in the country to raise their standards for teaching and learning — the first time that’s happened in a generation.
“But challenges remain. And we know how to solve them.
“At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced states to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies — just to make a difference.
“Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. And in return, grant schools flexibility: to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn. That’s a bargain worth making.
“We also know that when students don’t walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better. So tonight, I am proposing that every state — every state — requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: GOP response to the President’s 2012 State of the Union address
- WhiteHouse.gov: 2012 State of the Union Address Enhanced Presentation
- WhiteHouse.gov: Blueprint for America Built to Last (PDF)