Education experts break down Obama’s speech

Patrick Gibbons

Dr. Matthew Ladner (vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute and policy fellow at the Nevada Policy Research Institute) critiques and criticizes President Obama's idea that everyone should attend college. Ladner notes that fewer than 30 percent of all jobs in 2004 even required a college degree.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jay P. Greene (University of Arkansas) criticizes President Obama's speech, noting he emphasized great ideas, like merit pay for teachers, but arguing that Obama's speech doesn't reflect his legislative agenda. Dr. Greene wonders why, if charter schools and merit pay for teachers are so important, does Obama's legislative agenda push more spending on school construction and more funding for Head Start—both of which generate no long-term gains in student achievement.

Of course, Obama also made no mention of Congress' attempt to kill the D.C. voucher program, which offers scholarships to low-income students to attend a private school of their parents' choice.