From the President’s speech to the National Urban League this morning:
So, I want teachers to have higher salaries. I want them to have more support. I want them to be trained like the professionals they are – with rigorous residencies like the ones doctors go through. I want to give them career ladders so they have opportunities to advance, and earn real financial security. I want them to have a fulfilling and supportive workplace environment, and the resources – from basic supplies to reasonable class sizes – to help them succeed. Instead of a culture where we’re always idolizing sports stars or celebrities, I want us to build a culture where we idolize the people who shape our children’s future.
All I’m asking in return – as a president, and as a parent – is a measure of accountability. Surely we can agree that even as we applaud teachers for their hard work, we need to make sure they’re delivering results in the classroom. If they’re not, let’s work with them to help them be more effective. And if that fails, let’s find the right teacher for that classroom. As Arne says, our kids get only one chance at an education, and we need to get it right.
UPDATE: Here is video of the entire speech. The President’s remarks on education begin at the 11-minute mark.