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Big challenge in higher-education reforms

Obama emphasizes in providing affordable education

The President Barack Obama called last week on the Congress to increase spending on scientific research, create more manufacturing ´hubs´ on college campuses and expand job training programmes at community colleges.

Obama touted his administration’s efforts to provide students with more information about college costs and outcomes, and to graduate more low-income students. He cited the administration’s efforts to remake career training high schools, and to limit loan payments for borrowers in income-based repayment.

But the president steered clear of the criticisms of college costs prominent in his State of the Union addresses last year and the year before. And he offered no new proposals for making college more accessible and affordable.

“Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education,” said Obama. “I’m going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K they need.”

Although Obama spent most of the speech time dedicated to education talking about early childhood education, job training, and college affordability, he also gave a subtle nod to the Common Core State Standards, when he called for "more challenging curriculums" and "new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test."

Obama pledges accessible pre-k, higher education for all families

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