With states jockeying for extra school dollars from the economic stimulus, Education Secretary Arne Duncan reminded them Tuesday the point is to help kids do better.
Cash-strapped states are competing for $5 billion in grants from the economic stimulus for changes the Obama administration wants, such as charter schools and teacher pay based on student performance.
“It’s really not about the money — it’s about pushing a strong reform agenda that’s going to improve student achievement,” Duncan said in an interview with The Associated Press.
States can’t even apply for the money yet. Still, nine states have changed their laws or made budget decisions to improve their standing. The latest is California, where a bill was signed Sunday allowing student test scores to be used to evaluate teachers.
Duncan said the moves are encouraging. Still, he said states will have to do more than make promises.