President Obama is asking states to make education reforms in exchange for nearly $40 billion in stimulus funds for schools. But his aspirations might be on a collision course with several competing realities, writes Allison Armour-Garb with the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in a commentary for "The first tension is between the fund's dual goals of spending dollars quickly to save jobs, while at the same time investing in reforms that advance long-term goals," Armour-Garb writes. Paradoxically, it might be the neediest states that will be in the weakest position to compete for the $5 billion in...

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