Obama: We Need More College Graduates
President Obama said in a speech Monday that his administration wants to expand opportunities for higher education, saying it is key to America's technological competitiveness in this century.
There wasn't a lot of new red meat in this remarks at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY; it was mostly the president re-emphasizing education and innovation goals he's expressed in the past.
Obama said he wants to put 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product into research and development.
By 2020, Obama said, America should once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, restating one of his long-standing goals.
"Those that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow," Obama said.
Obama said the government is increasing Pell grants and creating a simplified $2,500 college tuition credit.
Notably, Obama gave a shout-out to New York Gov. David Paterson, who, according to some media reports over the weekend, had been discouraged by Obama to run for election. (Not re-election; lieutenant governor Paterson became governor after former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in the wake of his call-girl scandal.)
Obama has trumpeted the role of community colleges in America's new economy. He spoke before a backdrop of technology, including circuit boards, switches and other gizmos, making this look more like a briefing at Starfleet headquarters than a community college.
On a side note, the president confessed he had never taken calculus. As the holder of a barely obtained mechanical engineering degree, I took four semesters of it. That's why he's the president and I'm not.
-- Frank Ahrens
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September 21, 2009; 12:35 PM ET
Categories: Obama , The Ticker | Tags: Obama, economy
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