"Our kids are falling behind when it comes to science. We have kind of settled into mediocrity when we compare ourselves to other advanced countries and wealthy countries," Obama said in a town hall speech on health care in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
America which has been the wealthiest and the most educated nation for centuries, is loosing its position and countries like India and China are catching up, he said.
"So even with the good schools, we have got to pick up the pace, because the world has gotten competitive. The Chinese, the Indians, they are coming at us and they're coming at us hard, and they're hungry, and they're really buckling down," Obama said.
Hinting that the country has turned complacent, he urged the nation to step up its efforts and improve. He pointed out that the education system in the country needs reforms.
Instead of having only standardised tests to assess a child, one such test along with portfolios of work, and observation of classrooms are necessary to bring in improvement, the president advised. Apart from diversifying the methods of assessments, Obama stressed on upgrading professional development for teachers.