When our President gives a major speech devoted to higher education it is important that all of us take some time to listen and discuss what he has to say. If you have time, please go check out the full text of his speech in Austin.
For those of you who do not have the time, I tried to pull out the quotes that I thought were most relevant and would lend themselves to discussion and debate.
"I want us to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, because -- America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation."
"In a single generation, we've fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates for young adults. Think about that. In one generation we went from number one to number 12."
"Education is the economic issue of our time. "
"Even as family incomes have been essentially flat over the past 30 years, college costs have grown higher and higher and higher and higher. They have gone up faster than housing, gone up faster than transportation. They've even gone up faster than health care costs, and that's saying something. "
"So it's no wonder that the amount student borrowers owe has risen almost 25 percent just over the last five years. Think about that. Just in the last five years, the debt of students has done up 25 percent. "
"I want to challenge every university and college president to get a handle on spiraling costs."
"Over a third of America's college students and over half of our minority students don't earn a degree, even after six years. So we don't just need to open the doors of college to more Americans; we need to make sure they stick with it through graduation. That is critical."
"I want everybody here to remember, at each and every juncture throughout our history we've always recognized that essential truth that the way to move forward, in our own lives and as a nation, is to put education first."
Tomorrow I will share some ideas about what role technology can and should play in reaching the goals that President Obama sets out in his speech. For today, I'm just happy that we have a President who understands, and backs up with policies and leadership, that "education is the economic issue of our time."