SHARECOMMENTMORE

DECATUR, Ga. --President Obama says the nation needs what Georgia has. And he came to Decatur on Thursday to highlight the state's Pre-K program, helping to get 84,000 children, each year ready for school.

Maybe President Obama should tell that to our students, who have historically turned in some of the lowest SAT scores and graduation rates in the nation.

But Commissioner Bobby Cagle says that's a reason to expand the program, not cut it. He points out only 60% of Georgia's four-years-olds are enrolled.

And the Department of Education says a growing percentage of those "patients" are poor, something that hurts the state's overall educational performance.

That's one reason Matt Cordoza says the state will launch a new initiative next fall to give students a reason to show up. It will help every high school student connect their class work to job they want to pursue.

And now that the state can track every student from Pre-K to college. Cagle says we'll get the data we need to what other weaknesses we need to tackle and whether this is really money well spent.