Obama: Need for Higher-Quality, Affordable Education

The president stresses importance of lowering costs and improving the education system in America.
5:00 | 02/12/13

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Transcript for Obama: Need for Higher-Quality, Affordable Education
The study after study shows that the sooner or a child begins learning. The better he or she does down the -- But today fewer than three in -- four year -- are enrolled. In a high quality preschool program. Most middle class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids. Who need help the most -- lack of access to preschool education can -- them for the rest of their lives. Susan tonight I propose working with states. To make high quality preschool available to every single child in America. Every dollar we invest in high quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars -- wrong. By boosting graduation rates reducing teen pregnancy. Even reducing violent crime. In states that make it -- prior warning to educate our youngest children like Georgia. Or Oklahoma. Studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level. Graduate high school hold the job. For more stable families of the wrong. We know this works. So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind let's give our kids that chance. -- -- -- To make sure that a high school diploma. Put our kids on a path to a good job. Right now countries like Germany focus on graduating high school students would -- equivalent. Of a technical degree from one of our Community Colleges. So -- German kids they're ready for a job when they graduate high school. -- been trained for the jobs that are there. Now at schools like. A collaboration between new York public schools and city university of new York and IBM. Students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associates degree in computers or engineer. We need to give every American student opportunities like that's. And forty years ago. Four years ago we started raced to the top. The competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter for the curricula and higher standards. All for about 1% of what we spent on education agent. Tonight I'm announcing a new challenge. To redesign America's high school so they better equipped graduates. For the demands of high tech -- come. And will reward schools -- develop new partnerships with colleges and employers. And -- classes that focus on science technology. Engineering. And math. The skills today's employers are looking -- to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future. I even -- better high schools. Most young people will need some higher education. To simple fact. The more education you've got the more likely are to have a good job and worked her way into the middle class. But today skyrocketing cost price too many young people out of a higher education. Or settle them -- unsustainable debt. Through tax credits grants and federal loans. We've made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. The taxpayers. Can't keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down and it's our job to make sure that they do. I asked congress to change the higher education act. So that affordability. And value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal like. A and. Tomorrow my administration will release a new college scorecard the parents and students. Can use to compare schools based on a simple right here. Where you can get the most bang for your educational -- -- to grow our middle class. Our citizens have to have access to -- education and training that today's jobs report. We also to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who's willing to work. Everybody -- won't work -- has the chance to get ahead.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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