On February 24, 2009, President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress. Below are some of his comments on education:
"In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity-it is a prerequisite."
"Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma."
"We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation."
"It is our responsibility as lawmakers and as educators to make this system work. But is is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. So tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But what ever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma."
"These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent-for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father, when I say that responsibility for our children's education must begin at home."