We can’t afford mediocrity when competing with Indian kids: Obama

March 19th, 2009 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, March 19 (IANS)”We can’t afford our kids to be mediocre at a time when they’re competing against kids in China and kids in India,” US President Barack Obama has said.
Interacting with local residents at California’s Costa Mesa town hall Wednesday, Obama said, “It can’t just be a single high-stakes standardized test - but we do need to have strong, powerful measures of performance, because schools are like anything else.”

“We can’t afford our kids to be mediocre at a time when they’re competing against kids in China and kids in India who are actually in school about a month longer than our kids. So, there’s a whole bunch of reforms that we’re going to have to do,” Los Angeles Times quoted him as saying.

He exhorted American parents not to put “all the burden on a teacher”.

“If you’re not making sure your child does his homework, if you’re not reading to them, instilling a sense of excellence and a thirst for knowledge in them, then they’re not going to do very well, no matter how good your teacher is. Okay, so that’s very important,” he said.

Referring to the AIG bonuses, Obama said: “I know a lot of you are outraged about this. I’m outraged, too. It’s hard to understand that a company that is relying on extraordinary assistance from taxpayers to keep its doors open would be paying anyone lavish bonuses. It goes against our most basic sense of what is fair and what is right. It offends our values.”

He went on to say that these bonuses, “outrageous as they are”, are a symptom of a much larger problem.

“And that is the system and culture that made them possible - a culture where people made enormous sums for taking irresponsible risks that have now put the whole economy at risk. So we are going to do everything we can to deal with these specific bonuses.”

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