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President Obama says the best economic policy is one in which schools turn out graduates with the skills they need to succeed or perhaps create their own version of Microsoft Corp.
Obama was in Boston on Tuesday to discuss education at Dorchester's TechBoston Academy, a pilot school where technology is used in all the classrooms. The school also relies on partnerships with high-tech business partners, including Microsoft. TechBoston was founded with help from a foundation run by Melinda and Bill Gates, Microsoft's billionaire co-founder.
The school visit was made to draw attention to Obama's call for the creation of a federal agency designed to pursue breakthroughs in education technology. Obama requested $90 million for the agency's first year in the budget blueprint he sent to Congress last month.
The president addressed the budget Tuesday, saying the federal government needs to get deficits under control while also investing in education that works.
"Even as we find ways to cut spending, we cannot cut back on job-creating investments like education," Obama said. "We cannot cut back on the very investments that will help our economy grow and our nation compete and make sure that these young people succeed."
Obama says TechBoston is an example of the responsibility that parents, teachers, students, public officials, business leaders and everyone has to make sure that students get a good education. About 95 percent of the school's graduates go to college.
While praising TechBoston, the president reminded onlookers that the school has a tough entrance process.
"No child's chance in life should be determined by the luck of a lottery," he said. "Not in this country. This is a place where everybody gets the chance to succeed, where everybody should have a chance to make it."
While in Boston, Obama also plans to raise money for U.S. House Democrats.
With reporting from WBUR's Steve Brown and The Associated Press.
This program aired on March 8, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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