Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama Speaks About Education July 24

Updated with video:

Obama speaks on education at 1:15 p.m. today. It's likely to be live streamed at or
This is probably what he'll be speaking about:
On Friday, Obama will officially announce the "Race to the Top," a competition for $4.35 billion in grants. He wants states to use funds to ease limits on charter schools, tie teacher pay to student achievement and move for the first time toward common academic standards. It is part of a broader effort to improve school achievement with a $100 billion increase in education funding, more money for community colleges and an increase in Pell Grants for college students.

Duncan has used the Race to the Top fund, created through the economic stimulus law, as leverage to drive the president's education agenda in Rhode Island, Tennessee, Colorado and elsewhere. Never has an education secretary been given so much money by Congress with such open-ended authority, according to current and former federal education officials. Margaret Spellings, Duncan's predecessor under George W. Bush, had a tiny fraction of that amount at her disposal.

Obama says stagnating student achievement is part of a "slow-rolling crisis" and represents a threat to the country's economic future. Stark achievement gaps remain for minority and low-income students. In some big cities, fewer than half of high school students graduate on time. The United States trails international competitors in math and science.

Here's a treat. Without using inflammatory words or sounding like a rabid Sarah Palin fan, Newt has something good to say about Obama's education reform plans AND the education secretary Arne Duncan. He also manages to criticize Obama in a civil manner. Hmmmmm. My guess is Newt wants in on this education reform. He also might've felt freer, figuring none of the republican base would be watching C-SPAN.