Updated at 11:45 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had some encouraging words this morning as Dallas schools compete for up to $30 million in federal money.
After a tour of Pinkston High School with Superintendent Mike Miles and Mayor Mike Rawlings, Duncan said DISD is already implanting some of the improvements required for districts that will receive money through the Race to the Top program.
Duncan noted the graduation rate at Pinkston has improved several years in a row and he endorsed Miles reform efforts which include leadership training for teachers and principals.
Duncan is also addressing the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce at noon.
The U.S. Department of Education says Dallas should learn by the end of the year if it’s among the 25 successful Race to the Top applicants.
Here's more from our earlier story.
Lanet Greenhaw, with the chamber, says the organization lists education among its top priorities.
"Because it’s good for business and it’s good for our region. By driving improvements in education," Greenhaw says, "we have an opportunity to drive economic development and to make Dallas a better place to live and a better place to work."
To that end, in part, the Dallas school district has applied for up to $30 million in Race to the Top money.
Monday, Duncan’s Education Department named the DISD one of 61 finalists out of nearly 372 that could win some funds. The DOE says up to 25 applicants will get awards, to be announced before the year ends.
Here's Duncan and his boss, President Obama, introducing the "Race To The Top" program in 2009: