It is not a clean-energy policy, or universal health care, or safe and secure neighborhoods, though all of these are critical.
It is education.
Today our policy views education from a perspective that hasn’t changed since the Industrial Revolution.
I’m not opposed to tried and true, but I am FUNDAMENTALLY opposed to tried and failed, and tried again and failed again, and costing even more.
This is not the right way. This is not our way. And this is absolutely not the American way.
We have to do the hard work required to reshape education for the 21st century.
But this will take more than just policy. Much more.
It will take the active participation of every parent, teacher, administrator and politician. It will require the commitment of every parent, teacher, administrator and politician. And it will require that every parent, teacher, administrator and politician open their minds to the idea that the past should not be repeated, just because it worked once.
I stand before you today as proof that we can’t think that way anymore.
Tomorrow we will not measure learning through standardized testing.
Tomorrow we will not disrespect and ignore the heroes of our education system – our teachers.
Tomorrow we will not make investing in our schools an afterthought that is the first line cut in a budget.
We can and we must change. Together we will change. Our destiny demands it.
The American way speaks of intention, it speaks of commitment, it speaks of passion, and it speaks of integrity. It also speaks of a future built on hard work, tough choices, and a tenacity that ensures success.
I ask all Americans to stand with me, resolved that we will prepare our children to face the wonder and blessing that is our future with the capacity to learn, the ability to judge, the insight to persuade, and the desire to reach.