In a speech on education made in Dayton, Ohio on September 9, 2008, Barack Obama said, "When we challenge our kids to succeed, they will succeed!" He then quoted Arne Duncan, Chicago Public School System Director, on better results obtained in Chicago: "Our kids aren't smarter than they were three years ago, it's just our expectations for them are higher."
(you can hear that about 20 minutes into Obama's 36 minute long speech on YouTube).
Learn more about Chicago Public Schools.
Obama's speech came only one day after two dozen college presidents defended raising college tuition yet again. Tamar Lewin described the situation in the New York Times (September 8, 2008), quoting Peter Welch, "Tuition has risen at twice the rate of per capita income and this year it will cost just under $50,000 to attend the average private college. If the cost of milk had risen as fast as the cost of college since 1980, a gallon would be $15."