“The world is shifting to an innovation economy and nobody does innovation better than America,” President Obama said yesterday in Osawatomie, Kan., as he laid out a vision for broad-based prosperity in America. The President said that education is the foundation for the prosperity – and our world-class colleges and universities will help build that foundation. “The things that have always been our strengths match up perfectly with the demands of the moment,” he said.
But we need to meet the moment. We’ve got to up our game. We need to remember that we can only do that together. It starts by making education a national mission — a national mission. Government and businesses, parents and citizens. In this economy, a higher education is the surest route to the middle class.
The unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average. And their incomes are twice as high as those who don’t have a high school diploma. Which means we shouldn’t be laying off good teachers right now — we should be hiring them.
We shouldn’t be expecting less of our schools –- we should be demanding more. We shouldn’t be making it harder to afford college — we should be a country where everyone has a chance to go and doesn’t rack up $100,000 of debt just because they went.
The President, in recalling the history of the United States noted that America’s success has been “about building a nation where we’re all better off,” he said. “We pull together. We pitch in. We do our part. We believe that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, and that our children will inherit a nation where those values live on.”
Click here to read the entire speech.