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Obama defends Race to the Top

July 29, 2010

Lots of talk today about President Obama’s speech on education reform at the National Urban League. In his remarks, the President forcefully defended the Race to the Top competition, which has come under fire from some civil rights groups for pitting states against each other instead of providing funding for the neediest students.

In the speech, Obama said the aim of the $4.35 billion dollar program is to push states to raise their standards, and he defended the emphasis on lifting restrictions on charter schools and linking student performance to teacher evaluation.

The president also defended his administration’s policy on turning around low performing schools, which caused controversy in Central Falls when administrators threatened to fire the entire high school faculty.

“Part (of the criticism) reflects a general resistance to change….the status quo is not working,” he said. “We’re lifting up quality for all our children… You can’t win grants unless you’ve got a plan to …deal with schools that have been forgotten.”

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