Duncan to Schools: Uncle Sam Is Watching

Education sec says they'd better spend bailout money wisely
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2009 12:11 PM CDT
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, speak together during a news conference about education stimulus funding.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – States should be careful when spending their stimulus education windfall, because Uncle Sam will be watching, the US education secretary writes in the Wall Street Journal. “We will require an honest assessment of key issues like teacher quality, student performance, college readiness, and the number of charter schools,” Arne Duncan says, warning that future grants will be awarded based on how wisely states spend stimulus cash.

“We need a culture of accountability in America’s education system,” says Duncan. When parents, educators, and community leaders know how their schools and teachers stack up, they’ll be driven to improve them and demand change. “No more false choices about money versus reform, or traditional public schools versus charters. No more blaming parents or teachers,” he writes. “We need solid, unimpeachable information… Our children deserve no less.”