Obama: Education Key to Economic Growth

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President Barack Obama said Thursday that America's economic success is tied to the success of our nation's schools.

"Education is an economic issue, if not the economic issue of our time," Obama said in a speech to the National Urban League, a civil rights group, in Washington, D.C. "Education is prerequisite for prosperity."

The president said he wouldn't tolerate a status quo where the United States lags behind other countries in education achievements.

"We have an obligation to lift up every child in every school in this country, especially those who are starting out the furthest behind," Obama said at the centennial convention of the National
Urban League.
    
However, not everyone has been thrilled with the president's education reforms.

Obama has come under fire from high-profile teachers' unions such as American Federation of Teachers who've dismissed administration's proposed school reform as a simplistic "blame the teacher" approach.

The president defended his program, saying the goal wasn't to fire or chastise teachers. Rather, the president said his aim was to create an atmosphere of accountability.

"Our children only get one chance at an education, so we need to get it right," Obama said. "I want to see some teachers on the covers of magazines, not just athletes."

The president said the government will invest $4 billion to help turn around some of the country's lowest-performing schools.

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