American Jobs Act
Over the last few weeks, I've been making the case that we need to act now on the American Jobs Act, so we can put folks back to work and start building an economy that lasts into the future.
Education is an essential part of this economic agenda. It is an undeniable fact that countries who out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. Businesses will hire wherever the highly-skilled, highly-trained workers are located.
But today, our students are sliding against their peers around the globe. Today, our kids trail too many other countries in math, and science, and reading. As many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school. And we've fallen to 16th in the proportion of our young people with a college degree, even though we know that sixty percent of new jobs in the coming decade will require more than a high school diploma.
What this means is that if we're serious about building an economy that lasts-an economy in which hard work pays off with the opportunity for solid middle class jobs-we had better be serious about education. We have to pick up our game and raise our standards.
As a nation, we have an obligation to make sure that all children have the resources they need to learn-quality schools, good teachers, the latest textbooks and the right technology. That's why the jobs bill I sent to Congress would put tens of thousands of teachers back to work across the country, and modernize at least 35,000 schools. That's why Congress should pass that bill right now.
But money alone won't solve our education problems. We also need reform. We need to make sure that every classroom is a place of high expectations and high performance.