Obama’s Postsecondary Goals Will Be Hard To Meet

Meeting President Obama¹s Challenge:

One Year of College for All

Below is a direct quote from President Obama:

And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more

of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a

four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever

the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school

diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It¹s not

just quitting on yourself, it¹s quitting on your country ­ and this country

needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide

the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by

2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college

graduates in the world.

President Barack Obama Education Call To Action

Address to Congress, February 24, 2009

To meet President Obama¹s challenge that all Americans attain at least one

year of college, states and school districts must have the tools, resources,

and strategies that drive implementation of high quality high schools that

prepare all young people to a college-ready standard.

With the recovery and reinvestment funding now flowing, many states will

have great ambitions to further implement their high school reform agendas,

raise high school graduation rates and send a greater number of

well-prepared students on to postsecondary education. However, few states

have the capacity at the state or district levels to design, plan, and put

in place the programming and policy conditions that will ensure effective

and sustainable implementation of new options and pathways while

simultaneously managing to stabilize current investments and maintain

current efforts.

With the new discretionary dollars available over the next several years,

Secretary of Education needs to consider initiatives that

help states and districts put in place the conditions required to carry out

effective reforms, beginning now but sustainable when the stimulus dollars

disappear. Non-profit intermediaries and public/private partnerships can

play a key role in supporting capacity building among SEAs and LEAs. These

organizations are nimble, focused on results-driven school development, and

accustomed to meeting short time lines and implementation challenges.

Initiatives that further develop and build upon the strengths of these

organizations can dramatically increase the quality and scale of high

quality college-ready options for all young people, particularly those who

are low-income and underrepresented in higher education.

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