News / USA

Obama Links Education Goals, Economic Recovery

Multimedia

President Barack Obama on Monday set new goals for improving the U.S. public education system, drawing a link between progress in strengthening the nation's public schools and the health of the U.S. economy.  

An appearance by the president on NBC television's Today Show spotlighted the administration's effort to recruit 10,000 new science, technology, engineering and math teachers during the next two years.

Since he was elected, the president has introduced major education reforms, including his "Race to the Top" initiative in which states compete to receive money from a $4 billion fund that is intended to encourage innovation and reform.

Mr. Obama described as "indefensible" what he called a status quo in which some 2,000 schools across the country are "drop out factories" - something he said that requires radical change.  He said that although most teachers want to do a good job, those who are underperforming should be fired.

"We have got to be able to identify teachers who are doing well.  Teachers who are not doing well - we have got to give them the support and the training to do well.  And ultimately, if some teachers are not doing a good job, they have got to go," he said.

Mr. Obama frequently has highlighted statistics showing U.S. students lagging far behind their counterparts in other nations in math and science.

On Monday, he called for strengthening teaching in these and other areas vital to preparing students to compete in a 21st century economy. "Part of the challenge, I think, for the entire country is to understand that how well we do economically.  Whether jobs are created here, high end jobs that support families and support the future of the American people, is going to depend on whether or not we can do something about these schools," the president said.

In a telephone conference with journalism students from several colleges, President Obama voiced hope that an improving U.S. economy will take some of the pressure off cash-strapped states that are struggling to support public education.

With majority Democrats in Congress facing a difficult political climate ahead of November midterm elections, Mr. Obama formally claimed a victory on Monday by signing legislation to provide small businesses with additional tax relief and loan opportunities.

But opposition Republicans, with their policy proposals called the "Pledge to America," and likely 2012 Republican presidential contenders such as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, continue to assail his policies.

Romney spoke on Saturday at the convention of the New Hampshire Republican Party. "His policies, and his actions were the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs policies we have seen in our time," he said.

The president has hit back, pointing to job growth from the approximately $800 billion economic stimulus program passed last year, support for small businesses, and the auto industry recovery.

But President Obama is facing low public approval ratings, with increasing questions about how much support Democrats can expect from Independents and young voters who were key to his victory in 2008.

Mr. Obama gave some indication of his concern about this as he concluded his telephone conference with college student journalists. "The energy that you were able to bring to our politics in 2008, that is needed not less now, it is needed more now," he said.

During the next two days, Mr. Obama will promote his administration's economic recovery and job growth efforts.  He is scheduled to travel to New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin and Virginia, before returning to the White House on Wednesday.

Related video by Mil Arcega:

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid