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National Security Strategy 2010

Strengthen Education and Human Capital
In a global economy of vastly increased mobility and interdependence, our own prosperity and leadership depends increasingly on our ability to provide our citizens with the education that they need to succeed, while attracting the premier human capital for our workforce. We must ensure that the most innovative ideas take root in America, while providing our people with the skills that they need to compete. That means we must:
Improve Education at All Levels: The United States has lost ground in education, even as our competitiveness depends on educating our children to succeed in a global economy based on knowledge and innovation. We are working to provide a complete and competitive education for all Americans, to include supporting high standards for early learning, reforming public schools, increasing access to higher education and job training, and promoting high-demand skills and education for emerging industries. We will also restore U.S. leadership in higher education by seeking the goal of leading the world in the proportion of college graduates by 2020.
Invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (STEM): America’s long-term leadership depends on educating and producing future scientists and innovators. We will invest more in STEM education so students can learn to think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology; improve the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls. We will work with partners—from the private-sector and nonprofit organizations to universities—to promote education and careers in science and technology.
Increase International Education and Exchange: The pervasiveness of the English language and American cultural influence are great advantages to Americans traveling, working, and negotiating in foreign countries. But we must develop skills to help us succeed in a dynamic and diverse global economy. We will support programs that cultivate interest and scholarship in foreign languages and intercultural affairs, including international exchange programs. This will allow our citizens to build connections with peoples overseas and to develop skills and contacts that will help them thrive in the global economy. We must also welcome more foreign exchange students to our shores, recognizing the benefits that can result from deeper ties with foreign publics and increased understanding of American society.

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