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    Policy & Law

    President Obama discusses education at Aug. 9 speech

    By Mason Jones and Christopher Palmer
    Mason Jones and Christopher Palmer
    Published: Aug. 18, 2010

    On Aug. 9 President Barack Obama walked into a crowded Gregory Gym and discussed higher education and the need to become more globally competitive.

    “We have been slipping,” he said. “In a single generation we have fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates. That is unacceptable, but not irreversible.”

    View a slideshow of Obama’s visit to Gregory Gym.

    • Quote 2
      veel verdienen said on July 3, 2012 at 9:21 p.m.
      I agree with what President Obama is trying to do. I think he is going about it the right way, it's just far too difficult to please everyone. He has my approval!
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      Joseph Michael McCarthy said on Nov. 1, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
      President Obama knows first hand how diificult it is for Public Universities to survive. I was so happy that he took time out of his busy schedule to pay a visit to our great University of Texas. I did'nt think the visit was political at all. I hope Michelle Obama will also try to visit us soon.
    • Quote 2
      Jade H. said on Sept. 1, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
      Joe Herbst, maybe if you had spelled "academic" correctly, we would be able to take you a bit more seriously. As it is, I'm glad Obama cares about education (unlike a certain governor I could name), and that my university is relevant enough for him to come to in the first place. Hook 'em!
    • Quote 2
      Ashley H said on June 26, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.
      I agree with what President Obama is trying to do. I think he is going about it the right way, it's just far too difficult to please everyone. He has my approval!
    • Quote 2
      Johnny Taylor said on May 1, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.
      I'm with Teresa B. I'd much rather pay to help somebody be educated and better themselves than pay for somebody who is in the endless string of food stamps, SNAP, section 8, Medicaid program etc. There are many stuck in these "entitlement" programs that abuse them badly. Many of these people just save money on food, but then turn around and buy luxury cars and clothing. I'd really like it if the entitlement programs were way more scarce and hard to get on, and monitored better. That would leave a lot of money to fund more noble causes like education.
    • Quote 2
      Joe Herbst said on Nov. 9, 2010 at 12:04 p.m.
      Long Live Democracy!!!!! We The People have defeated those who committed Crimes Against Democracy.
    • Quote 2
      Teresa B said on Oct. 5, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.
      One of the comments posted about President Obama's education reform was that "was it fair to make someone who doesn't want to got to college pay for someone else's education via his or her tax dollar." As a taxpayer personally I would rather pay for someone's education than have my taxes dollars wasted on the individual who is on multiple state-funded assistance programs. Recently while at my local food stamp office because of being unemployed I overheard three different people say how they are getting state assistance for everything from food stamps to medical and financial support, while living on section 8. So my answer is: How is it fair that up until these past four weeks my tax dollars have supported this mentality. Which is the lesser of the two in the long run...the individual who thinks of only the next "fix" or the individual who is thinking "I can do better."
    • Quote 2
      RNilssen said on Aug. 26, 2010 at 7:35 p.m.
      RNilssen, the objectives are noble but resources don't exist in a vacuum. In order to pay for more students to go to college you have to take money from people in the work force. When you raise issues of "fairness" let me pose a question, is it fair to force someone who didn't go to college to pay out of their paycheck for someone who did? Money isn't the major issue, people who have the will to go to college but not the money will find a way. I.E. getting a job, army, or work hard in high school to acquire scholarships etc. In any event our government simply doesn't have the resources to deal with it. The federal debt stands at 13 trillion dollars and as with the California debacle, eventually the spicket will run out. People have to learn to be independent, like the generations before us and whilst the environment might have changed, with education costing 100% more on average (adjusted for inflation) we begin to understand that maybe we shouldn't be sending so many students, only the students who truly wish to be there.
    • Quote 2
      Joe Herbst said on Aug. 24, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.
      RNilssen - Apparently our education system has failed you, sorry.
    • Quote 2
      RNilssen said on Aug. 23, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.
      To Joe, Joyce, and Geoffrey - how is it radical and/or socialist in seeking to get all Americans on a level playing field in terms of Education and Healthcare? I fail to see the connection...
    • Quote 2
      Cindy Blair said on Aug. 23, 2010 at 2:57 p.m.
      I agree with LMoore -- President Obama has done a spectacular job during his first 18 months. The challenges he inherited were far more disastrous than that of any President in the Last 50 years, so his policies have prevented our country from further disaster and failure. While things may be far from perfect, at least they are stable. Come on, people - improvement and growth take time, but we are clearly on the right track. Thank you, President Obama for all of your hard work - please keep up the good job!
    • Quote 2
      RNilssen said on Aug. 23, 2010 at 1:54 p.m.
      Wow Joe Herbst -- so if President Obama did not discuss Education until 9 minutes into his 26-minute campaign, then it seems that he spent the remaining 17 minutes discussing education?! The President outlined the importance of attaining higher education, and making it accessible to EVERYONE in this country who seeks it. Renee - thank you for sharing how you personally have benefitted from the Student Loan reform - I'm sure there are hundreds if not thousands of other people out there who have similar stories. This is far more than the PREVIOUS administration has done to alleviate the pressures of school loans! And yes -- bring on November 2nd -- can't wait for the people to speak again -- just like we did on November 4, 2008!!! I thank you for your comments Joe Herbst -- because of you, I just made a $1000 donation to DNC over the weekend :) Go Obama - thank you for coming to our beautiful beloved, University of Texas!!!!!
    • Quote 2
      LMoore said on Aug. 21, 2010 at 12:45 a.m.
      I truly believe that Pres Obama has made a special effort to make America better with education, health care, economy issues etc... He came into office with a very full plate, but is doing an awesome job despite the many tasks... I feel truly honored that Pres Obama came to UT at Austin, to speak especially since my son is going to be a freshman this fall at UT... Hook em' Horns and thank you President Obama for caring!!!!
    • Quote 2
      Joyce Goodman said on Aug. 20, 2010 at 9:11 p.m.
      Renee, what makes you think that I am not an alumni of The University of Texas? Joyce Daily Goodman, B.A., 1960
    • Quote 2
      Joe Herbst said on Aug. 20, 2010 at 1:54 p.m.
      Renee - Obama didn't mention Education until 9 minutes into his 26 minute campaign speech. Hardly a "Non-partisan" speech on education, so please give a fellow UT Grad credit for at least half of a functioning brain. And wow, you did a background search on Joyce G.?? I'm sure those results are as accurate as you take on the campaign speech. Remember November 2nd, We The People have a say. Hook 'em and Peace out!!
    • Quote 2
      Renee said on Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:36 a.m.
      As a UT alumni, I completely agree with Rob Linne's comments as well. Since when is it inappopriate for the President of the United States to speak about Education, at an Institution of Higher Education? Regardless of your political stance, if you listened to his speech, you would realize it was completely non-partisan. As to Geoffrey Van Olden -- I'm happy to report that my student loan payment has dropped over $300/month as a result of the de-privatization of the school loans, so yes, the impact is significant. And finally to Joyce Goodman, who was "appalled" by Obama's visit - I love how you called it "my University of Texas" when you are neither a student nor an alumni.... I find that fascinating, and truly appalling!
    • Quote 2
      Joe Herbst said on Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.
      One of the many Great things about America is that its great founders understood, among other things, the inherant dangers of Big Government, and made sure that The People get their say every 2 years. Can't wait 'til Nov. 2nd, when The People get our say again - which some may find "inappropriate".
    • Quote 2
      Geoffrey Van Olden said on Aug. 20, 2010 at 1:57 a.m.
      Any attack on the socialist values being perpetuated by the president and his like-minded fellows should be spoken against as often as possible. Private banks no longer serve as "middle men" in the college loan process. Why is this better for college students? I'm sure that it changes nothing. The government holds on to the money (our money, every citizen of this country's money--not its money) and prevents the banks from acquiring profits with it. Sounds like more power for the governemnt.
    • Quote 2
      Holly Heinrich said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 7:47 p.m.
      As a University of Texas student, I was proud that President Obama chose to speak about education reform at my university. Making higher education affordable for all Americans is far from radical or Socialist.
    • Quote 2
      S. Lilly said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 6:45 p.m.
      As a UT alumnus, I completely agree with Rob Linne's comments. Joe Herbst's comments are very inappropriate here.
    • Quote 2
      Joe Herbst said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.
      It sounds like Rob L. wants to stifle the 1st Amendmant Right of Free Speech. I'm giving my opinion on whether we, as an Acedemic Institution, should let politicians exploit us for their cheap political gain. Others may feel differently - that's fine. But don't act as though this is a "low level of discourse" because you simply disagree.
    • Quote 2
      President Obama speaks about education at UT, Aug 9th | The OECD at 50 Years said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 1:15 p.m.
      [...] about education at UT, Aug 9th Posted on August 19, 2010 by mateoclarke| Leave a comment The University just posted the speech from President Obama’s first visit since the ’09 c...While here he spoke about what his administration is doing and has done for education. This [...]
    • Quote 2
      Johann said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
      Hey Joe Herbst... Do you realize that UT, like all public universities, is a socialist institution? Your tuition doesn't pay for your education, most of it is paid for by the taxpayers of Texas.
    • Quote 2
      Rob Linne said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.
      I believe the comment by Joe Herbst does not reflect well on an institution of higher learning such as UT. Suggesting that UT should not allow the president of the US to speak and using terms like "cheap" and "radical" seems to be a personal attack on the president and represents a low level of discourse that does not represent the university well. Please moderate the comments on this comment board.
    • Quote 2
      M Vid said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 10:56 a.m.
      I believe it was a great honor for UT to host the President's talk on the current state of U. S. education. His administration's work on student loans alone is beyond anything I'd expect from previous administrations of the last 20 years. The attention he put on how bad the U. S. education has become shows his awareness of our nation's plight. To me, it also shows his commitment to strengthening our society. What better way to do than through education?
    • Quote 2
      Joyce Goodman said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 10:40 a.m.
      I agree with Joe Herbst's comment. I was appalled that Pres. Obama was pictured with U.T. students sitting behind him in their U.T. Longhorn shirts at my Uni. of Texas.
    • Quote 2
      Joe Herbst said on Aug. 19, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
      I don't think we should allow our great University to be exploited for cheap political gains - especially by radical / borderline Socialist politicians, Presidents included. This makes all of us who went there look as though he has our support. The campus can be a political forum for students, but should not be a campaign stop for politicians - of any kind.
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