(Editor's note: What follows is the edited text of a speech given at an Arizona charter schools event on May 17 by Craig Barrett, who retired as chairman of Intel Corp. three days later.)

This will be my last speech as chairman of Intel, and I want to do three things tonight: (1) put education into the international context; (2) look at data and see if we are making progress; and (3) offer five suggestions to honestly improve American education.

At the outset, let's contrast U.S. college education with U.S. K-12 education. America has a bi-modal system--we are generally regarded as having...

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