U.S. Education Secretary Duncan to Address Education Reform Task Force at 80th Annual Meeting of Mayors

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address the Education Reform Task Force at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 80th Annual Meeting Friday in Orlando. Duncan will discuss the critical role mayors play in improving the education system and ways mayors can leverage federal funding to support reforms in their cities. The session will be led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and feature presentations by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

New and revamped Education Department programs include the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility, Race to the Top, and School Improvement Grants. Florida is among the first 10 states granted flexibility from No Child Left Behind — the current version of ESEA — in exchange for comprehensive reform to raise academic standards, strengthen state accountability systems, and provide targeted support to chronically low-performing schools. In addition, the state is one of 12 Race to the Top grantees to secure funding in the first two phases of the program, and is working to turn around schools throughout Florida with the support of nearly $198 million in School Improvement Grants funding awarded since 2009.