In this Washington Post interview, our new United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, talks about how the Obama administration plans to further its school reform agenda.
Of the $100 billion earmarked for schools in the federal stimulus package, Duncan says, the government has about $5 billion in discretionary funds. With that “unprecedented” amount of money, he said, “We’re gonna work exclusively with those states and those districts that are really willing to challenge the status quo and get dramatically better.”
I forgot to mention earlier that Duncan wrote a letter to the participants of the performance pay conference I attended on Monday commending them on their “willingness to engage one another in dialogue about how new forms of teacher compensation can help us to get the results we expect from our schools and our students.”
There was a sense of urgency at the conference, at least by some, and it was clear that it was tied to these federal dollars. Should Oakland act quickly to get in on some of these discretionary dollars?