Affordable College on Obama's Education Agenda

President Obama speaks about high-quality pre-K programs and teaching real-world skills in high school.
3:00 | 01/29/14

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Transcript for Affordable College on Obama's Education Agenda
Of course it's not enough. To train today its workforce. We also to prepare tomorrow's workforce. My guaranteeing every child access to world class education. -- -- -- -- Couldn't speak a word of English when he moved to New York City at -- not. The last month thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program. He -- -- march. But his classmates. Drew a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors. From -- high school to the post office where they mailed off their college applications. And the son of -- factory worker just found out he's going to college this fall. Five years ago we set out to change the odds for all our kids. We worked with -- lenders to reform student loans and today more young people -- earning college degrees than ever before. Race to the top with the help of governors from both parties. This helps states raise expectations. And performance. Teachers and principals and schools from Tennessee to Washington DC are making big strides in preparing students with the skills for the new economy. Problem solved critical -- Science technology. Engineering. Math. Some of those changes are. That requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more demanding parents. To better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our kids -- matter how well they can fill in a bubble on a test. But it is worth it. And it is working. The problem is we're still not reaching enough kids. We're not reaching them in time that has to change. Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life. This high quality early education. Last year I ask this congress to help states make high quality pre K available to every four year old. In as a parent ms. -- the president -- repeat their request tonight. But in the meantime thirty states have raised free -- bombing on the -- may know we can't wait. So just as we worked with states to reform our schools. This year we'll invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children. And as congress decides what it's going to do. I'm gonna pull together a coalition of elected officials. Business leaders and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high quality pre K that they need. It is right for America. Last year -- also pledged to connect. 99%. Of our students to high speed broadband over the next four years. Tonight I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like apple Microsoft sprint and Verizon. We've got a down payment to start connecting more than 151000. Schools. And twenty million students over the next two years without adding a dime to the -- Working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real world education and hands on training. They can lead directly to a job and career. We're shaking up our system of higher education to give parents more information. Then colleges more incentive to offer better value. -- that no middle class kid is priced out of a college education. We're offering millions. The opportunity to cap their monthly student loan payments. To 10% of their income. And I want to work with congress to see. How we can help even more Americans who feel trapped by student loan debt. -- reaching out to some America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color. Facing especially tough odds to stay on track and reach their full attention. The bottom line is. Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. We -- all our opportunity agenda won't be complete. And too many young people entering the workforce today. We'll see the American dream as an empty promise. Unless we also -- -- make sure our economy honors the dignity of work. And hard work pays off for every single American.

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

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