As President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for re-election Thursday night, he discussed his stance on a range of issues from taxes to foreign policy. But while his speech ran far and wide, his comments about education were short and shallow.
Here are his comments on the state of education in the nation and his vision for change over the next four years if he were to be re-elected:
For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning. Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading. Millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders.
Government has a role in this. But teachers must inspire; principals must lead; parents must instill a thirst for learning, and students, you’ve got to do the work. And together, I promise you— we can out-educate and out-compete any country on Earth. Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in the next ten years, and improve early childhood education. Help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next 10 years. We can meet that goal together. You can choose that future for America.
And now you have a choice— we can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money. No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home.
It’s not quite news. In that part of his speech, the President touched on three actions: recruiting math and science teachers (which, as Education Week bloggers pointed out during the speech on Twitter, has already been announced); cutting the rate of growth for the cost of college tuition; and investing in community colleges.
What are your thoughts on his comments about education’s role in the nation’s trajectory over the next four years?