At D.C.'s Cap City public charter school, President Obama said he saw the school as a model for education innovation under new DOE secretary Arne Duncan. From the transcript released by the White House:

You're excellent listeners. And the reason we came to visit, A, we wanted to get out of the White House; B, we wanted to see you guys; but C, the other thing we wanted to tell everybody is that this kind of innovative school, the outstanding work that's being done here by the entire staff, and the parents who are so active and involved, is an example of how all our schools should be.

And what I've asked Arne Duncan to do is to make sure that he works as hard as he can over the next several years to make sure that we're reforming our schools, that we're rewarding innovation the way that it's taking place here, that we're encouraging parents to be involved, that we're raising standards for all children so that everybody can learn -- especially things like math and science that are going to be so important for the jobs of the future.

And so we're very proud of what's been accomplished at this school and we want to make sure that we're duplicating that success all across the country. So nothing is going to be more important than this. And the recovery and reinvestment act that we've put forward will provide billions of dollars to build schools and help with school construction. It will provide money to train teachers, especially in subjects like math and science that are so critical. And it will also give Secretary Duncan the resources he needs to reward excellent, innovative schools. And so we think it's really important for the country that we get that bill passed.

In related news, Democrats for Education Reform has released a statement calling for the $145 billion education portion of the federal stimulus bill to focus more on "incentives and innovation." The group, based in New York, proposes revamped state assessments and more funds for moving highly qualified teachers into struggling schools.

--Dana Goldstein

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