US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed the annual lunch for the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research on Thursday.
He called New Orleans an example for the nation in school innovation, and cited a long list of statistics in achievement improvements since 2005. Then, 60 percent of students attended a failing school, while that number has dropped to 5 percent today.
Duncan noted that New Orleanians, more than most, know the pain that comes with drastic school change. In the battle for better public education, he said, "you are absolutely winning."