Education was the “third challenge” in Barack Obama’s speech last night. He’s for it.
There was the usual nod to the global knowledge economy: “We know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.” He promised “access to a complete and competitive education” to every child from birth to first job. Then there was the one-two punch: More money for programs and more money for reforms.
We’ve dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We’ve made college affordable for nearly seven million more students — seven million. (Applause.) And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children’s progress.
But we know that our schools don’t just need more resources. They need more reform. (Applause.) That is why this budget creates new teachers — new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We’ll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools. (Applause.)
(Applause was not universal: Check out Edspresso’s How do I react? for the photo of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.)
Obama asked young Americans to commit to at least one year of college or career training after high school. He offered tuition aid to those who “volunteer in your neighborhood” or in the military. If the Kennedy-Hatch bill, which he touted, is the guide, that doesn’t mean the feds will offer college aid only to those who’ve served in some way.
Education stimulus money won’t be distributed based on need, reports Education Week.