President Barack Obama started the school week Sept. 27 with a call for a longer school year, and he said the worst-performing teachers have “got to go” if they don’t improve quickly, reports the Associated Press. Bemoaning America’s decreasing global educational competitiveness, Obama sought in a nationally broadcast interview to reinvigorate his education agenda. At the same time, the president acknowledged that many poor schools don’t have the money they need, and he defended federal aid for them. But Obama also said that money alone won’t fix the problems in public schools, saying higher standards must be set and achieved by students and teachers alike. Asked in an interview if he supported a year-round school year, Obama said: “The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense.” He did not specify how long that school year should be but said U.S. students attend classes, on average, about a month less than children in most other advanced countries. The president admitted that his own daughters, Malia and Sasha, couldn’t get the same quality education at a Washington, D.C., public school that they currently get at their private school. The Obama girls attend Sidwell Friends School, an elite private school in the Washington area. “The DC public schools systems are struggling,” Obama said, though he added that the school district has “made some important strides over the last several years to move in the direction of reform.” Separately on Sept. 27, Obama announced a goal of recruiting 10,000 teachers who work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math over the next two years. In a statement, Obama said such education is vital to allowing students to compete against their peers in today’s economy…

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura