Barack Obama delivers speech on education in Dayton

(editor’s note – John McCain held a rally the same day in Lebanon, Ohio. The Clarion would have loved to cover that event as well, but our limited staff made this impossible. We decided to cover Obama since our last issue’s politics page was devoted solely to Sen. McCain. We endorse neither candidate.)

Barack Obama held an invitation only event at Stebbins High School on Sep 9 that included a major speech about education.

The crowd of around 700 included many sporting National Education Association t-shirts. Gregory Tucker, a parent of a Centerville High School student, introduced Sen. Obama.

Obama commented that Washington talks about education, but takes little action.

“And that failure to act has put our nation in jeopardy,” said Obama. “I believe the day of reckoning is here.”

The senator said that we must prepare children to compete in a global economy.

“The decisions our leaders make about education in the coming years will shape our future for generations to come,” said Obama.

He also pointed out that the Republicans

The new global economy allows companies to “plant jobs wherever there’s an Internet connection and someone willing to do the work,” according to Obama.

This new world requires thinking about education in a new way.

“When two-thirds of all new jobs require a higher education or advanced training, knowledge is the most valuable skill you can sell,” said Obama.

He also emphasized the importance of quality math and science teaching.

“We can’t afford a future where a third of all fourth graders and a fifth of all eighth graders can’t do basic math,” said Obama. “Elementary school kids are only getting an average 25 minutes of science each day when over 80 percent of the fastest-growing jobs require some knowledge in math and science.”

The speech said that partisan bickering has no place in the education debate.

“It’s been Democrat versus Republican, vouchers versus the status quo, more money versus more reform,” said Obama. “There’s no understanding that both sides have good ideas that we’ll need to implement if we hope to make the changes our children need.”

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