States are jockeying for a new $5 billion pot of education money even before the contest has begun. . .
Fewer than half the states are likely to win the money, and several already have rewritten education laws and cut deals with unions to boost their chances.
"I think you've got the right intentions, and you've got some positive movement," Allen said. "But unless you're willing to be strict and firm about your expectations and leave nothing up to interpretation, a lot of people will get money without having done very much."