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In Connecticut, a rare education success story...

In recent years, education reform has been one of the most contentious issues in American politics, with Republicans launching an all-out assault on the teachers unions, and Democrats often fighting a desperate rearguard action to prevent massive budget cuts.

So how is it that Connecticut this week managed to pass a far-reaching, bi-partisan reform bill that didn't involve vilifying educators or laying people off? On The Ed Show, the state's Democratic governor, Dan Malloy, and Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, joined Ed Schultz to talk about the unlikely achievement.

The law will put $100 million into the Nutmeg State's school system, with the focus on low-performing city schools. It'll also expand opportunities for early childhood education in low-income communities -- something the research suggests is crucial -- and it'll institute performance evaluations for teachers, principals, and administrators.

Malloy said that in terms of funding, the issue is pretty simple. "If you take money out of schools, they're not going to perform as well as they need to perform."

And Weingarten said other states might learn from what Connecticut has done. "This is a great model of cooperation and working together, both in terms of developing polciy, and moving forward," she said. "Compare that to what's going on in a lot of places around the nation, of cut cut cut, and creating real negativity for kids."