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Advisor Hopeful About Public Education
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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the winning states in the first round of the Race to the Top education competition. Connecticut lost in the first leg of President Obama’s $4 billion dollar school reform contest, but is gearing up for the second round later this year.  A key Obama education advisor was in New Haven on Friday to talk about Race to the Top.  WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.

Jon Schnur is co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools, an organization that works to improve the quality of principals and superintendents in urban districts.  He’s also played an important role in President Obama’s national education policy agenda.  Schnur says Race to the Top marks a fundamental shift in public education:

"From an assumption that kids will get educated essentially to the level that they sort of come in with... What kind of support have they had, are they affluent, how are their parents educated - to a society and education system that puts the onus on us as adults, to insure that all of our kids can achieve at high levels."

And he says individual schools, some in CT and across the country, have proven that kids in poverty can succeed.

"This is the opportunity for CT and for our country in this generation, to take these small scale successes and go to large scale. The biggest measure of whether we can get there is whether we really invest whats needed in order to lift up our teaching and school leadership professions to help all kids succeed."

Jon Schnur was in New Haven for the Yale School of Management’s Education Leadership Conference

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.