"[T]he President of China is coming to Washington on
Thursday. It's a very important visit. China is a very important strategic
friend in many ways, and in many ways they pose competition to us.
. . . we can either look at China and say, let's compete with China
in a fair way, or say, we can't compete with China and therefore kind
of isolate ourselves from the world.
"I've chosen the former route for the United States.
I tell our people we shouldn't fear the future. What we ought to do
is shape the future. We ought to be in charge of our future. And the
best way to do so is to make sure that we're the most innovative country
in the world. We have been the most innovative country in the world
for the past decades, and that has helped raise our standard of living.
We need to always be on the leading edge of technological change.
We need to be the center of research and development.
"And so here are two ideas that I intend to work with
Congress on to make sure that we're still the technological capital
of the world -- for the benefit of our people, by the way, so that
the standard of living in America continues to improve for everybody.
One is that we must increase federal support for vital basic research.
"I don't know whether you realize this or not, but the
Internet began as a Defense Department project to improve military
communications. In other words, that was an area where the federal
government spent research money, and out of that research and development
came the Internet, which has substantially changed the way we live.
The iPod, interestingly enough, was built on years of government-funded
research in microdrive storage and electrochemistry and signal compression."
"In other words, investment at the federal level in
research has led to practical applications which improve the lives
of our citizens. And so I proposed to the Congress that we double
the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs
in physical sciences over the next 10 years. One way to make sure
this country is the economic leader of the world so that our people
benefit and can find work is for there to be a federal commitment
"A second thing we can do is recognize that most research
and development takes place in the private sector. That's about $200
billion a year is spent in private sector research. In other words,
we've got some of the leading companies in our country doing research
as to how to develop new products that will make sure that not only
their company and their shareholders benefit, but that it ends up
in order to the benefit of the United States.
"One way to encourage people to invest corporate funds
is through the research and development tax credit. In other words,
it's a use of the tax code to say, this is in your interest - by the
way it's in our collective interest, as well - but it's in your interest,
your corporate interest to invest so that your product line remains
modern so that your scientists that work for your company are able
to have funds necessary to continue to think anew.
"The problem we have in America is that the research
and development tax credit expires on an annual basis. And if you're
somebody trying to plan for the next five years, or the next 10 years,
which a lot of smart people do, it's difficult to do so if every year
you're wondering whether or not the Congress or the President is willing
to stand up and support the research and development tax credit. So
another way to make sure that this country of ours is competitive,
where we don't have to fear the future because we intend to be the
leader, is to make sure that the research and development tax credit
is permanent, to add permanency to that in through the tax code.
"And thirdly, and one of the reasons we're here, is
to make it clear to the American people that in order for us to be
competitive, we've got to make sure that our children have got the
skill sets necessary to compete for the jobs of the 21st century.
We live in a global world, and that creates uncertainty in some. I
understand that. There's a sense of, well, the world is so big and
so connected that it's -- maybe we're really not in charge of things
"In a global economy, for example, if our children do
not have the skill sets for the jobs of the 21st century, the jobs
are going to go somewhere else. And it's a fact of life. It's a part
of the real world we have to deal with. It's a lot different from
the 1950s, for example. There wasn't that sense of global competition
-- at least there wasn't that sense in Midland, Texas. . . . But there
is today. If you're living in Midland, Texas, or living in Montgomery
County, Maryland, it's important to understand if children don't have
those skill sets needed to compete with a child from India, or a child
from China, the new jobs will be going there.
"And so in order to make sure we remain the leader of
the world, we have got to continue our focus in education on high
standards, accountability, and a new focus -- an intense focus on
math and science. . . ."
"So we also know through measurement that our high school
students, by the time they reach high school, have fallen behind most
of the developed world in math and science. So there's been some positive
results that ought to encourage us, but there's some warning signs.
If we want to be a competitive nation, if we want our children to
be able to have the jobs of the 21st century, those jobs that are
high-paying, high-skilled jobs, we better do something about the fact
that we're falling behind in math and science today. Now is the time
"One, one of the great programs that has been proven
to work is advanced placement . . . . [W]hat needs to be done to make
advanced placement work? Well, one thing, the federal government needs
to help train 70,000 high school teachers on how to teach AP and how
to administer the program, and how to make sure it's a viable part
of school districts all around the country.
"Second, we ought to have 30,000 math and science professionals
in our classrooms over the next eight years. . . . there's just something
that's important for a child to connect with a role model."
"And so we've got a goal of 70,000 AP teachers, and
30,000 adjunct professors in classrooms. The House of Representatives
reauthorized the Higher Education Act, which included the AP program
and the adjunct teacher program. And I want to thank them for that."
"I signed an executive order this morning establishing
what is called the National Math Panel. Let me describe that to you.
It is a part of our strategy to make sure that we achieve the objective
of laying that foundation for our children in math and science. By
January 31, 2007, the National Math Panel will report their assessments
of the best practices for teaching math. Those experts will come together
and help advise school districts about what is working and what's
not working; what skills students need at what grade to master algebra
and higher mathematics. In other words, starting to set those -- help
set realistic standards. The standards and accountability that will
be needed to ensure students are learning math -- that will be a part
of their mandate. They will look at the teaching methods that are
most effective for students of different abilities and backgrounds.
They will look at the programs and learning materials that work best."
"And I'm also proposing a new program called Math Now,
which will be used to apply the recommendations. And here's what Math
Now means. Teachers will be able to use the math panel's recommendations
to ensure they're using the best techniques. And there will be money
to help. Math Now is similar for No Child Left Behind's Reading First
Initiative, which uses scientific findings compiled by the National
Reading Panel to help local and state districts achieve their objectives."
"Math Now for elementary school students will promote
research-based practices. Math Now for middle school students will
target students struggling with math."