Why your emphasis on education?

There is now increasing, irrefutable evidence linking our country’s prosperity to education outcomes. We’ve lost our leadership in education, and now we’re one of the least socially mobile countries in the world. You can directly link it to a variety of factors, but the solution has to include transformational education reform.I’ve believed that for a long while. Combine that with being governor, where we got a chance to implement pretty meaningful broad-based education reform and, seeing the results, it kind of cements my passion for this. [The foundation] started more to defend the reforms we had in place, but it’s gone way beyond that.

What grade would you give President Obama on education?

A passing grade. Which is better than I’d give him on economic policy or budget policy. He has a heart for kids. And he has Arne Duncan, and I think Arne deserves praise.