President Obama was in Texas yesterday, fund-raising for his party at the University of Texas at Austin. He again addressed the point that education is a prerequisite for economic growth, a subject he also addressed in a speech at the National Urban League two weeks ago. “The single most important thing we can do is to make sure we’ve got a world class education system for everybody,” the president said.
He also cited the statistic that the U.S. fell from first place in college graduates to 12th place in the world over a single generation. Obama wants the nation to reclaim is position as the nation with the most college graduates, requiring an increase of the college completion rate from 40 percent to 60 percent. “I want us to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, because America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation.”
Obama described the drop “unacceptable” but “not irreversible.” He feels that a highly educated population is paramount to insuring that America will be able to compete in a global economy. “From Beijing to Bangalore from Seoul to Sao Paulo new industries and innovations are flourishing; our competition is growing fiercer.”