In his State of the Union address on January 25, 2011, President Barack Obama emphasized his continued commitment to education reform in the United States. While calling for a general freeze on government spending, he stressed the need for increased spending to improve the education of the nation’s children. He stated that the classroom “should be a place of high expectations and high performance.” He noted the importance of overhauling the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) using the approach of the $4 billion Race to the Top (RTT) competition. The President stated that “Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation” in which the challenge to states was “ if you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we will show you the money.” He credits RTT with leading Republican and Democratic governors in over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. The President has requested Congress to provide funding to continue the RTT competitive grant program for another year. To date, Congress has not approved any increases in spending for the U.S. Department of Education.
The White House press release of the Remarks by the President in the State of the Union Address can be accessed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/25/remarks-president-state-union-address.