Thank you for that kind introduction. It is a special pleasure and opportunity for me to meet and speak with so many early childhood educators, advocates, and researchers. More than a half century ago, Franklin Roosevelt said that the "destiny of American youth is the destiny of America." Each and every day you help to fulfill that destiny.
Thank you so much for the generous introduction. It's a pleasure and honor to be addressing this conference of the Harlem Children's Zone. HCZ, and its founder and extraordinary leader, Geoff Canada, have produced one of the most remarkable anti-poverty community programs in the nation's history.
Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to discuss the state of American educationwhich in some ways is one and the same with the American economy.
I believe that the quality of our education system says as much about the long-term health of our economy as the stock market, the unemployment rate and the size of the gross domestic product.