A challenge to the NAACP, African-American parents and all Americans…
To rousing applause, the president gave what was perhaps his best education speech to date last night, making it clear that “government programs alone…” won’t solve our problems, instead asking this community in particular to adopt “a new mind set”, one that doesn’t tolerate failure.
“No excuses,” the president demanded to this audience. “No excuses.”
He has our thanks and our blessing for adopting the Reform Battle Cry.
“No Excuses” he said to the organization that, despite it’s name, has in reality done little in the last 20 years to support the kinds of real reforms that can indeed create a no excuses culture for poor children, children of color, all children in need.
And so the president’s impassioned and bold speech is particularly music to the ears of reformers of all stripes.
“I hope you don’t mind. I want to go on a little detour here about education (to rousing applause). In the 21st century when so many jobs will require a bachelors degree or more… a world class education is a prerequisite for success. You know what I’m taking about. There’s a reason the story of the civil rights movement was written in our schools.
“There is no stronger weapon against inequality and no better path to opportunity than an education that can unlock a child’s God given potential.
“Yet more than half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, the dream of a world class education is still being deferred…” (i.e. Achievement gap, dropouts, corridors of shame…)
“The state of our schools… is an American problem. Because if black and brown children cannot compete, America cannot compete.
“And let me say this, if Al Sharpton, Mike Bloomberg and Newt Gingrich can agree we have to