Looks like all that drama and work actually paid off! After failing the first time, New York just secured itself about $700 million in public school funding as a part of the Race to the Top program. Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement, "New York State's selection is a testament to what we've accomplished in our City's schools over the last eight years. Our students have shown tremendous improvement and now—as a Race to the Top participant —we will work with our teachers and school administrators to raise the bar once again."
The state implemented numerous reforms in order to become more eligible for funding, such as raising the charter school cap to 460 from 200, linking test scores to teacher evaluations, and getting rid of those requests for $550 chairs. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said, "We took a hard look at where we fell short last time and made important policy changes, such as raising the cap on charter schools and introducing a strong teacher evaluation system. Race to the Top has been a tremendous catalyst for precisely the kind of education reforms we've supported and implemented in New York City; now it is up to all of us to live up to this commitment and continue the important work that got us here."