January 6th, 2010
02:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama unveils $250 million math, science program

President Obama spoke about the importance of improving the country's educational system at a White House event Wednesday.
President Obama spoke about the importance of improving the country's educational system at a White House event Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama announced Wednesday a $250 million public-private initiative designed to improve national math and science education.

Specifically, the money will be used to promote five new partnerships intended to help train over 10,000 new math and science teachers over the next five years. It will also be used to support the professional development of more than 100,000 current math, science, technology and engineering teachers, according to the White House.

The new funding builds on Obama's math and science "Educate to Innovate Campaign," which was announced last November. Several large companies, including Intel, Xerox, Kodak and Time Warner Cable have already pledged $260 million to the effort.

American students, Obama noted, currently rank 21st in science and 25th in math compared with students around the world, putting the United States at a disadvantage on vital issues such as medicine, energy and security.

The administration, Obama said Wednesday, is committed to moving the United States "from the middle to the top of the pack."

The president handed out awards to over 100 math and science teachers after making the announcement.

Last year, Obama unveiled a $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" fund to offer competitive grants to states pursuing creative strategies for recruiting, training and retaining teachers.

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Excellent! This support and emphasis on education is very much needed for the United States to continue to be the leader in innovation and new technology.

    And before all the president haters start posting, bear in mind that capitalist giants such as Intel, Xerox, Kodak and Time Warner Cable support this program.

    January 6, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. eolufemi

    Great job Mr. President!

    January 6, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Danny

    Wow a President that understands the importance of educating our students in math & science rather than religious dogma! While our "leaders" were denying the veracity of scientific discoveries for the last 8 years and relying on their faith to solve our country's problems (we all know where that got us) we fell behind the rest of the civilized world in these fields. There are other reasons for companies outsourcing jobs to India than lower wages...there just aren't enough technologically trained workers in the U.S. to do many of these jobs. Kudos to President Obama for realizing this and trying to rectify the situation.

    January 6, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. virginia nielsen

    That's fantastic !!! Finally a prez that really cares about America and its future !!! We're back on the top again !!! God bless us all!!!

    January 6, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Dean

    How about putting some money in new jobs? You can't really make an existing teacher better by pouring more money into him.
    Increase the taxes on US corporations who continue to outsource our jobs and produce their products overseas. Bring our jobs home and strengthen our dollar.

    January 6, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Tammy

    The future of the nation is in education!

    January 6, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. LIP

    Good idea, he is to be commended for his foresight.
    It would be nice though if it were more.

    January 6, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Dar

    You see there, you dont have to tax our companys to death to help America, they are more than willing to help.
    Now this is the kind of thing that will help create jobs also, my only hope is that this is some of the stimulas money that he has pledged and isnt spending more of what we dont have.sigh

    January 6, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Chris - Denver

    Great! This is something I hope even the president's sworn enemies will acknowledge the country really needs.

    January 6, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. mavcal

    Here he is again with his mouth open wagging that finger of his like he's the center of the universe. Less yapping and more behind the desk actual work and we wouldn't have to worry about "systemic failures".

    January 6, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. jules sand-perkins

    Money will not solve this problem, and it might make it worse by strengthening school pupils' belief that it is the responsibility of teachers to educate them. When our educational system functioned, it was considered the responsibility of the student to learn, with help from the teacher. If the student failed, it was completely his fault, not the teacher's.
    This basic change in the focus of responsibility is made worse by a cultural bias against education in some cultural groups in this country.

    January 6, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Fooled Again

    Turn on the printing presses and don't worry we'll tax them to the hilt later.

    January 6, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is about time we had an administration that actively addressed our woeful educational system, and put some meat behind its' committment versus that fraudulent 'Every Child Should be Left Behind" fiasco. This President, for obvious reasons, knows the importance of a good education. He is not looking for quick popular fixes, he is looking at the long-run picture. Let me tell you that picture is looking dismal if you look at how our children rank globally in core subjects like math and science.

    The GOP has been intent on keeping the populace as dumb as humanly possible, by paying lip service to educational programs while shooting down budgeting for it behind closed doors. Why is it, though, that they can always find tons of money to send the populace off to get killed at war, while their own children attend private schools?!

    January 6, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Ron

    GREAT!!!
    as a country, we are so far behind other countries in schooling our children. If we have any hope at keeping jobs, let alone making new jobs as new technology is created, we need to be investing in our schools as well as the teachers, who should be given raises.
    Why is it that those people who help make our country and society are poorly treated and paid yet we're willing to pay millions to a sports athlete? Our priorities are sadly misplaced. Perhaps this will be the beginning of a needed change in this country!

    January 6, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
1 2 3