The future belongs to that nation which best educates its children. And right now, that nation is not the U.S. We are laggards on just about every measure from early math and science to high school graduation. Our most enduring competitive advantage is our innovative capacity, which is a direct function of our level of education. We know what it takes: starting early, great teachers and a willingness to innovate.
Our commitment to education should begin on day one. Early childhood education is the most intelligent investment we can make in our future. The benefits, both economic and social, far outweigh the costs. Being prepared to start school is one of the most critical indicators of long-term educational success. For this reason, I am working with President Obama's team to enact legislation which will help high-quality early learning programs serve more kids and help erase the achievement gap once and for all
We must target funds to school initiatives that show results and commit resources to turn around low-performing schools, not punish them. We should encourage our brightest into the teaching profession, support them while they are there, and hold them and the system accountable for results.
Few doors open for those children who simply graduate from high school. Higher education or worker training programs must be within reach for any ready and willing student.
Most of the opportunities I have had grew out of a good public school education. My two young daughters go to a good public school. I expect no less for every child in America.