New U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke about the Obama administration’s education priorities at a national conference in San Diego, California, over the weekend. Duncan, who is credited with turning around the Chicago public school system, touched on the president’s education reform agenda, including the controversial issue of performance pay for teachers, which he supports. “Think about talent. How can we dramatically reverse the talent flow out of the neighborhoods that need the most and really recruit and incent the best and brightest to work in communities that in far too many places have been underserved not for a year but for decades?” Duncan said.
He also called for more education involvement from the mayors of big cities and expressed his support for President Obama’s fiscal stimulus plan, which will allocate roughly $100 billion to public education nationwide. Duncan added that those districts that aid struggling students the most will receive additional funds.