Transcript for Obama: 'Terrific Things' Are Going on in Austin
Good afternoon esteemed guests my name -- -- in Washington. I am a senior at -- and its head high school. This school has brightened in solidified. My future in so many ways. By helping me battle -- disability to knowing what career I would like to pursue. I'm happy to say that -- -- my hard work determination. And the help of my my there. Family friends. And the wonderful staff have made -- technology high school. I'll be graduating in June headed to Sam Houston State University. Where I will be. Double majoring in theater and communications. Truly a great joy in. To be standing before you for this once in a lifetime chance to introduce the president of the United States of America. And the man who embodies the true essence of change. Taking his place in the White House in 2009 with his beautiful wife Michelle. And his lovely daughters Sasha and Malia. He has served our country so well. He was reelected a second term. President Obama has had many obstacles in his way. But with his competence. Character and most important courage. He is shattered every last one of those obstacles. He is truly a role model to me. And I'm sure many -- He -- show me that the impossible is possible with his. The way he speaks with his silent roar of competence. I see him walk. With his courage and I know that I have no need to fear. It is truly my honor. And my and I am very humbled. -- now on behalf of myself. The staff. And this my fellow students to introduce to you the president of the United States president of Iraq. Okay. Yeah. -- -- It. I -- that there's a role that they wanna give a presentation in front of the class has to dress up so I made sure to Wear a -- I don't want to lose points. A lot of thank tell them further. Very generous introduction -- -- a big round of applause. I want to thank principles that just born. I don't want and and then John Bergeron -- around breaking. We've got -- not a number of other ball luminaries here today first ball we've got. Acting secretary of commerce and labor -- blank and Seth Paris. Back is going to be leaving us to. Become. The president of University of Wisconsin Madison so -- if you all are our interest in cold weather you can apply. Got the hook up right here and she's got under a great job. We've got congressman Lloyd Doggett was there. Turnaround who's there. -- appreciation week. All the pictures raise your hands. -- jurors who work hard every single day and they don't do it for the money. They're good because the love of learning and love of their students and so we could not be prouder of them. We are grateful. To all of them and I want to thank all of you -- Texas size welcome. That. Now those you have streets feel free to sit those -- you don't. -- a lot. You gotta keep stand the so this is the first stop but I'm making on a tour of the Austin area today. And -- I chose -- probably -- I just love often. -- -- -- But but also because there are some terrific things going on in this area. In communities like. Like later. And they're terrific things going on in communities all across the country that are good models. For all of America to follow. You might not know this because if you. You know listen all the doom and gloom and Washington politics and you're watching cable TV sometimes you might get got -- -- and nothing's going right. But the truth is there's a lot of reasons for us to feel optimistic. About where we're headed as a country. Especially after all the tough times that we've been through over the last several years. And that should encourage us to roll up our sleeves and work even harder. And work together. To take on the challenges that are still holding. Back parts of our economy. In a little over three years our businesses have now created more than six point five million new jobs. And while our unemployment rate is still too high it's actually the walls but it's been since 2000 night. That's not good enough now we've got to create even more good middle class jobs and we got to do -- -- -- the by the time -- -- graduate from college. The job market is strong. Corporate profits have skyrocketed all -- -- But that's not good enough. We've got to make sure that middle class wages and incomes. Are also going up because. Most families ever seen the take home pay rise for years now. Our housing market is healing. But that's not good enough we still need to help a lot of families stay in their homes or or refinance to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in years but now we've got to. Budget. In a smarter way so it doesn't hurt middle class families or prevent us from making the critical investments that we need for your future. So -- a lot of the sectors of our economy. Are doing better. The American auto industry is thriving. American energy is booming. American ingenuity and our tech sector. Continues to be the best in the world and has the potential to change almost everything that we do. And thanks to the grit and determination the American people. -- cleared away. The rubble of the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. So were poised. For progress. All across America. Americans are working harder and they're living up to their responsibilities. Both to themselves and to one another and to their communities every single day. Part of our challenge those you've got to. Try to -- the same kind of seriousness of purpose in your leaders. From Washington to Wall Street. All of us have to commit ourselves to doing better than we're -- map. And all of us have to rally around the single greatest challenge that we face as a country right now and that's. Reigniting the true engine of economic growth -- thriving middle class work if you work hard no matter what you look like where you come from. You can succeed. That's what we're fighting. Another three things that we've got to focus on to create more jobs and opportunity for the middle class. First of all we've got to make America a magnet for good jobs. Second we've got to help people -- the education. And develop the skills they need to do those jobs. And number three we've got to make sure that people -- working hard. Are able to achieve a decent -- That's what we got a -- And I've sent congress proposals -- A whole range of ideas that will help in these three heiress. Creating jobs helping families stay in their homes lifting wages. Helping more young people get a good education and afford college. Some of the -- have been blocked in congress. Four frankly political reasons. And I'm not keep on trying you know I'm a bird I'm optimistic guy -- -- gonna keep bomb. Talking to members of congress because I believe that America does best when we work together. I believe that. Ever want so -- I need your help. To lean on your elected representatives and say hey let's do something about this. Even if you don't like a politically it's a good idea let's go and support so sometime dominate. Constituents. To pressure their members of congress to do the right back. But where I -- I'm just gonna go and take action on mile. Including some executive actions -- taking today. That I'm convinced will spur innovation and help business create more jobs because. We know what's possible when Americans whether they're Republicans -- -- Democrats or independents are working together. And when parents and teachers and business owners and local leaders come together. And that's what we're saying here in Austin. We're seeing people working together. Not because. Of politics not because -- some selfish reason but because. Folks here understand -- what we're all working together everybody goes back. -- -- -- Over the last three years in Boston area businesses -- created. 85000 new jobs. And companies like apple and these. Are getting ready to open new offices. General Motors already hiring at its new innovation center. -- want to report the tech sector now drives more than one quarter of Austin's economy. And all of this -- help to make -- one of the fastest growing cities in America. So. So folks right here doing something right. And I think throughout the country can learn from what you're going because. I've always believed that best ideas. Usually don't start in Washington today. They trickle up to Washington so so I've come to listen and learn and highlight some of the good work that's being done. This afternoon I'm gonna go visit -- local factory where workers are building the equipment that makes cutting edge microchips. All those Smartphones and -- in the U guys are using. Lot of this stuff is made there. I'm gonna have watched with some local families to talk about what they're facing the challenges -- they're facing and figure out how we can make sure that. People's hard work pays off. But as you can see my first stop. Was. Made an -- The reason is because our economy can't succeed. Unless our young people have the skills that they need to succeed. And that's what's happening here. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- There's a reason -- teachers and principals from all over the country are coming down to see what -- up to. Because every day. This goal is proving that every child has the potential to learn. The real world skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. And you all are doing it to got -- you know I -- -- -- -- history teacher might get together with a math teacher and develop a project. About the impact of of castles on world history. And the engineering behind building -- Or -- students might be in charge of putting together multi media presentation about the moral the limos in literature as applied to world war -- -- -- helps students get even more hands on experience. And while most high school students in America give a handful of speeches by the time they graduate a student of -- school might give as many as 200. Not a lot of -- I can relate. And you know -- does that shares took just to see some incredible work that some of the young people you're doing. You know folks who use mathematical equations to build musical instruments. Tests on bungee jumping -- rubber bands and -- and you know robots that were being built -- all all kinds of great stuff. And you're doing things a little differently around here that a lot of high schools and its work. By the way the majority of stones -- made -- don't come from wealth or privilege. -- some folks here might have come from you know some pretty tough backgrounds and yet the vast majority of students here stay in school. They graduate. Your test scores in most subjects have been higher than the state average almost every member of the recent graduating class went on to college and about 60% of the concern it what I was talking to some -- classmates on the projects there were working off. You know. There are a couple of your your classmates who were stunning how earth -- regenerate. When they're injured. -- solar cars. You're -- championship regional. Explosion robotics team. They'll -- in in the world championships a couple weeks ago. And this program's only been around for five years so so this is an impressive group. And the teachers here you can tell our -- about what they do what. Couldn't be more press although some of them look like they were in high school. There are a couple of my met us are -- -- your attention. Not Nigeria -- -- look like -- Out today. You really -- -- not know. But if it's important to remember that every year schools like -- -- -- attack. -- blind lottery is to determine who gets sent. Because there just are not enough spots. For all the students who want to go to school like best. There are too many kids in America. Who are not getting the same kinds of opportunities through no fault of their -- And we can do better than that. Every young person America deserves a world class education. We got an obligation to give the -- And by the way. That helps the whole economy every business in America we want to draw from the world's highest highest skilled and most educated work force. We can make that happen. But it beau -- Put our shoulder against the -- of work a lot harder than we're -- right now as a nation. So number one we've got to start educating our kids at the earliest possible wage. And that means giving every child in America access to high quality public. Preschool. Something that I'm pushing for. Every dollar that we put in early childhood education. Can save seven. Dollars down the road because -- boost graduation rates reduces things like teen pregnancy and violent crime. Helps young people succeed not just in high school but beyond so let's make that happen let's make every child's. Early success a recipe for long term success we can do that. We've also got to make sure that we help more students. More schools get the kinds of skills they're getting here in -- -- tacked to compete in a high tech economy. So. That's why we're working to recruit and train a 100000 new teachers in. Science and technology engineering and math. Helping our most talented teachers serve as mentors -- colleagues. So that -- helped. They'll push the the great stuff that's that's gone on here -- to other schools. Throughout the state and throughout the country. We've also got to start rethinking redesigning America's high schools that's part of what's happening here is there's innovation going off. That vet equip graduates for the demands of -- high tech economy. Lot of hands on learning here people are just sitting at a desk reading all the time readings import. I'm a big reader but. -- part of what makes this place special is is that there's all this integration. Various subjects and actual projects and young people doing and not just sitting there listening. So we've got to reward schools like this -- -- focus on the school. The focus on the field the future use technology effectively to help students learn. And are also developing partnerships -- local colleges and businesses. So that a diploma here leads directly to a good job. And finally we know that even with a better high schools. If you want a good job and work your way in the middle class. Most -- -- -- and need some higher education. -- -- -- in recent years. College -- the sky -- And that's left too many students and their families saddled with a mountain of debt. So we've worked to make college more affordable for millions of students already and families through. Tax credits and grants. More access. To student loans that the go farther than before. We performed the -- loan process by putting students -- had a big banks. Providing options to make it easier. For young people to repay these loans. But. If even if we do all that if the price of higher education keeps going up. Then eventually. They're not -- up money to help young people so we gotta figure out how to. Reduce college costs and that's why my administration is released what we're calling -- college scorecard. -- gives parents and students to clear concise information -- you'll need to find a school the best. Fits your needs but also gives you the best value. -- consumer report. For colleges. But you don't want to -- And you don't want too much debt. And going forward colleges that don't do enough to keep costs down. I think should get less taxpayer support we want to support the schools they're dornin great job giving good values students. That's what we want. -- -- -- Young people and families you shouldn't have to subsidize skyrocketing costs if the colleges aren't trying hard enough to keep cost down. And provide -- high quality education. So. I could not be proud of what's happening here and -- -- that's why -- to come. Last month students and a digital media class made up a YouTube video describing why the school was so special. Some students talked about how they're looking forward to being the first of their family to go to college. Others talked about. Learning new skills taking on more responsibility. Once sophomore summed it up nicely when she said the school is a lot more than just a school it's a -- And it's it's filled with people that are -- -- care about you that are gonna help you. Later that's what. Every school should be. That's what our country should be. -- for each other helping each other -- invested in each other's success. We're not just a collection of individuals were one American -- If we follow -- example we give every child the chance to climb new ladders of opportunity. If we equip every American with the skills and education they need to succeed in the jobs of the future. If we make sure the hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded. And we fight to keep America a place where you can make it if you try. Then you're not just going to be the -- the proper -- -- prosper. And together will write the next great chapter in America's history. -- -- --
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.