Arne Duncan Hearts New York’s Schools

New York’s schools received a pat on the head from Education Secretary Arne Duncan Tuesday, who talked about the state’s school system at a Washington event organized by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Duncan praised New York’s recent expansion of its charter school system, and said the state could be on track to win federal dollars from the competitive education fund known as Race to the Top. The second group of winners from that program will be announced in September 2010.

“Obviously, we are in the middle of a competition so I can’t comment on any particular state’s application. But I think New York has worked extraordinarily hard,” Duncan said.

Look out, past winner Tennessee!

Mr. Duncan’s comments stole a bit of the spotlight from the higher education part of the conference, which brought about 80 college and university presidents together to talk about a series of proposals being pushed by Ms. Gillibrand.

“[My] agenda opens the doors of our world class colleges and universities to more of our students, makes college more affordable for all families, and harnesses all of our state’s potential in the high-tech sector to spark new industries, attract businesses and create the jobs of the future right here in New York,” she said in a press release.

Barnard College President Debora Spar, who attended the summit, called Gillibrand’s plan–which includes extending tax cuts on tuition and STEM education–“attractive for those of us who are running colleges.”

Arne Duncan Hearts New York’s Schools