WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says $350 million will be used to create rigorous testing intended to improve the nation's educational system.
Duncan said the funds will be taken from the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund and will be focused on implementing more stringent testing standards similar to internationally bench-marked standards, a U.S. Department of Education release said Monday.
"Perhaps for the first time, we have enough money to really make a difference. We have proven strategies for success in schools all across America. This is where reform will play out. It will filter up from classrooms and schools, districts and localities, but then it will arrive on your desks," Duncan said.
While both the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers say they will push for common K-12 educational standards, each state is able to decide upon its own academic efforts.
The Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer said Duncan visited North Carolina Sunday to promote his new agenda. North Carolina is currently one of 46 states that have agreed to create English and math standards for high school students.