UPDATE: From The New York Times Caucus Blog:
President Obama said Tuesday that the nation must overhaul its education system and dramatically decrease the drop-out rate among students to remain competitive in the global economy.In an address to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Obama issued a challenge to states to increase the quality of reading and math instruction to keep American students at pace with other countries....
The president challenged teachers unions, renewing his support for a merit-based system of payment.... “It means treating teachers like the professionals they are while also holding them more accountable,” Mr. Obama said. “New teachers will be mentored by experienced ones. Good teachers will be rewarded with more money for improved student achievement, and asked to accept more responsibilities for lifting up their schools.”