Tom Bloch: My concern is that the United States education system used to be the top one in the world. Today, there are over 20 countries, over 20 developed countries in the world in which student achievement is higher than in the United States. So it tells me that we’ve got a real job on our hands, and I know today, if you did a poll on the street, most people would say if we have a crisis in this country, it’s the financial crisis that we’re experiencing.
Before that, maybe they would say it was the energy crisis, and possibly others would say it’s the war in Iraq, but I would suggest that longer-term, the real problem, the most urgent problem that we will be facing is our education system and being competitive in this world. And so, that’s why I think we have got to address the quality of our public education system. But kids are kids, and I think my experience whether you come from an affluent or from an impoverished background, every kid really wants to succeed, and it’s up to us to provide the kind of education that will allow that child to reach his or her dreams.
Recorded on: October 13, 2008