From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:
“He addressed two major issues facing our nation – job creation and deficit reduction. And he rightly continued his call for civility in our discourse.
“Throughout his speech, he drew on the American tradition of rising to challenges through our ability to innovate and work hard.
“The President’s priorities are in line with California’s priorities. We need a clean-energy economy that will create good jobs and keep us at the forefront of the world. We need a top-notch education system that spans from Head Start to college. We need roads, bridges, high-speed rail and other infrastructure that transport people and goods efficiently in order to move our country forward.
“The President clearly stated his intention to pursue fair deficit reduction, which I support, and he also inspired us to continue working across party lines in order to meet the many challenges required of us. I look forward to working with him and my Congressional colleagues to reach these goals and make our nation stronger.”
From Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez:
“The President is absolutely right to challenge our schools to do better. Now is the time for real, substantive changes that will transform our schools and put our students on the path to success in school and in life.
“If we want to win the future, as the President said, if we want our country to prosper, then it is time we decide as a nation that our children can’t afford for us to wait any longer. It is time we decide as a nation to take a hard look at where our schools are and where we need them to be. And it is time we decide as a nation to rid ourselves of the average label we too often receive and excel, out-perform and out-compete other countries.
“If we fail to take action to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we are sentencing our students to the status quo. I’ve been fighting too long to let that happen.
“Real education reform will mean more community involvement, more parental involvement, buy in from teachers and less prescription from the federal level – all of this without losing the accountability our students need to keep them on track.
“It shouldn’t matter if a student is in a school in an urban city or a rural town, in a suburban neighborhood or on a U.S. military base – every child in this country deserves the opportunity to succeed. “We can continue to make excuses or we can realize what other countries have – that our economy will not be strong if the education of all our students is not strong.”
Read more, after the jump…