June 12, 2009 2:00:41 pm
US President Barack Obama has exhorted his countrymen to buckle up as the Indians and Chinese are catching them fast,as Americans have now settled into mediocrity.
“Our kids are falling behind when it comes to science.
We have kind of settled into mediocrity when we compare ourselves to other advanced countries and wealthy countries,” Obama said in a town hall speech on health care in Green Bay,Wisconsin.
“That’s a problem because the reason that America over the last hundred years has consistently been the wealthiest nation is because we’ve also been the most educated nation,” he said.
“It used to be by a pretty sizable factor we had the highest high school graduation rates,we had the highest college graduation rates,we had the highest number of PhDs,the highest number of engineers and scientists,” Obama said.
The President said though the Americans used to be “head and shoulders above” the people of other countries,especially in the field of education,they were fast loosing that position.
“So even with the good schools,we have got to pick up the pace,because the world has gotten competitive. The Chinese,the Indians,they are coming at us and they’re coming at us hard,and they’re hungry,and they’re really buckling down,” Obama said.
Ever since he started his presidential campaign more than two years ago,Obama has been urging people in the US to gear up to match the increasing talent of the Chinese and Indian students. “Their kids watch a lot less TV than our kids do,play a lot fewer video games,they are in the classroom a lot longer,” Obama said amidst applause.
“So here’s the bottom line. We’ve got to improve,we’ve got to step up our game – which brings me to the next point in your question,which is,how do we do that? I agree with you that if all we’re doing is spreading around a lot of standardised tests and teaching to the test,that’s not improving our education system,” he said.
“We do need to have accountability,however. We do need to measure progress with our kids. Maybe it’s just one standardised test,plus portfolios of work that kids are doing,plus observing the classroom. There can be a whole range of assessments,but we do have to have some kind of accountability,” Obama said.
Secondly,Obama said there is need to upgrade the professional development for teachers. “we have got a lot of teachers who are well-meaning,but they are teaching science and they didn’t major in science and they don’t necessarily know science that well,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.