The Associated Press reports that Rhode Island is one of nine states, alongside Washington DC, that has won a second-round competition for federal education money through the "Race to the Top" program.
The victory, which could bring as much as $75 million to the state, does not come as a big surprise - Rhode Island has pursued the brand of aggressive reform the competition encouraged. But it gives the state's ambitious education chief Deborah Gist a boost in her efforts to transform a lagging system.
The question, now, is can the free-market approach in favor at the moment - charter schools, greater choice, performance-based pay for teachers - conquer our stubborn problems with public education. Rhode Island - small and ambitious - should provide an interesting test case.