Mayor John DeStefano Jr., along with eight other mayors, met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to talk about school reform. DeStefano was in Washington, DC, as part of the United States Conference of Mayors.

City Hall spokeswoman Jessican Mayorga said in a press release that DeStefano spoke with Duncan about funding for school reform, the guidelines for the federal government’s Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation Fund programs, and student achievement grants.

“DeStefano also discussed next steps in New Haven’s aggressive School Change Initiative that aims to make New Haven the best urban school district in the nation,” the release said.

Connecticut has applied for the first round of Race to the Top funding, for which applications were due this past Tuesday. The competitive federal grants are awarded to states that demonstrate widespread plans for education reform.