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Feb 22, 2010 11:10 AM by Associated Press

Obama: US cannot accept second best in education

President Barack Obama says America's "primacy in the world" is at stake in the quest to substantially improve educational quality and global competitiveness.

Speaking to governors gathered at the White House Monday, Obama said he won't "accept second place for the United States of America." He noted that it continues to lag behind other nations in critical areas, including high school math and science skills.

Obama applauded governors for developing "common academic standards" but said more can be done. For one thing, he said states will be asked to adopt new standards to better prepare the young for college-level math and science - and will make that a condition for receiving certain federal assistance. Obama said the effort will also require better teaching and better curricula.

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