Speaking from the Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, President Obama outlined one strategy for improving the economy: smarter investment in education.
From The New York Times:
“This country should be doing everything in our power to give more kids the chance to go to schools just like this one,” he said, calling the school a ticket to the middle class.
Mr. Obama’s wish list included preschool availability for every 4-year-old in America, access for every student to a high-speed Internet connection, lower college costs, redesigned high schools that teach the skills needed in a high-tech economy and investment in teachers.
Radcliffe Saddler, a student from the school — P-TECH, as it's known — introduced the president. P-TECH offers a combined high school and associates' degree, as described by the Daily News, allowing "students to earn associate degrees and get first crack at jobs with the school's partner, IBM." The CEO of IBM attended the speech.
Prior to his address, the president briefly toured the school. From the press pool:
The president joked with one of the girls that he needed her to tutor Sasha and Malia, because he's not very good at helping them with math anymore. ...
At another table, Mr. Obama saw a demonstration by students who built a structure out of plastic straws, designed to hold small sandbags. Eventually it collapsed, and the president laughed and said it was a good lesson in design.
The speech followed the theme of his post-shutdown comments: government has a role to play in fixing the nation's problems — and that, so far, Congress has prevented any such intervention. During his speech, the president also made a joke that Congress, like his daughters, might need math help.