Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Thursday his plan to improve America's education system includes charter schools, intense teacher education and parent involvement.
"Now, I know some argue that during a recession, we should focus solely on economic issues ... but education is an economic issue, if not the economic issue, of our time," Obama said at the National Urban League's 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington. "We've tolerated a status quo where America lags behind other nations."
On the issue of higher education, he noted that America used to be first and is now 12th globally when it comes to college graduation rates. Middle-schoolers continue to fall behind in math and science, and the income gap continues to widen between white and African-American students, he said.