On a visit to TechBoston in Boston, Massachusetts, yesterday, President Obama called on everyone--parents, teachers, students, government, businesses and philanthropists—to get involved with improving educational outcomes across the country:
There's no better economic policy than one that produces more graduates with the skills they need to succeed—to start their own businesses, to create their own Microsoft, to create new industries. And that's why reforming education is the responsibility of every single American—every parent, every teacher, every business leader, every public official, and yes, every student.
TechBoston was founded in 2002 with the support of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. It is a pilot school within the Boston school system, giving it greater control over staffing, curriculum, and the school day.
The school uses technology in all of its academic courses, and every student is issued a laptop. The curriculum has rigorous graduation requirements, including four years of science, math, and technology—classes in web development, digital art, and media arts—and community service hours.
The graduation rate from TechBoston is 82 percent (compared to an average graduation rate of 63 percent for all of Boston public schools) and more than 94 percent of TechBoston graduates are attending 2 and 4 year colleges and universities. Of these students, a majority are the first in their families to attend college.
Addressing staff and students yesterday, President Obama praised the success of the TechBoston, adding:
We can't forget that every year, schools like TechBoston have to hold a lottery, because there just aren¹t enough spaces for all the students who want to go here. The reason they want to go here is because they know that if they go to some of the other schools in the area, they won't do as well. They know that they might drop out. They might not get the same reinforcement that they need. There might not be that same culture of excellence and performance. That means they may not go to college, and they know they may not succeed.
All of that shouldn't depend on a lottery. That can't be the system of education we settle for in America. No child's chance in life should be determined by the luck of a lottery. Not in this country. This is a place where everyone gets the chance to succeed, where everybody should have a chance to make it. The motto of this school is, "We rise and fall together". Well, that is true for America as well. That's true for America as well.
If we want to prosper in the 21st century, and if we want to keep the American Dream alive in our time, then we're going to rise together. We've all got to come together. We've got to give our children the same world-class education that you are getting right here at TechBoston. And as long as I am President, that's what I'm going to be fighting for right alongside you.
Education Month continues tomorrow when the President and the First Lady are host an anti-bullying conference at the White House you can find out more here.