Published: Feb 18, 2011 10:03 PM EST
Updated: Feb 18, 2011 7:03 PM EST

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) - President Barack Obama says the U.S. must invest in research and development, science, and especially education - or risk seeing the technological breakthroughs of the future happen in some other country.

 Obama says he wants to focus "like a laser" on improving education. He said the quality of a nation's education is one of the biggest predictors of a nation's success.

 The president Obama spoke at Intel Corp. in Oregon on Friday during a West Coast swing designed to highlight his vision of making the U.S. more competitive globally. Before the visit, the White House announced that Obama had picked company CEO Paul Otellini, a sometimes critic, to serve on a presidential competitiveness council.

Obama is hoping to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law to create more competition and less top-down control in education. It's not clear that major education legislation will be able to advance on Capitol Hill with newly empowered Republicans focused on cutting the deficit.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)