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Arne Duncan to Step Down as Secretary of Education

Arne Duncan to Step Down as Secretary of Education


Just earlier this week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urged schools to tackle the school-to-prison pipeline by seeking out alternatives to referring misbehaving students to law enforcement. Today, he made a different kind of announcement.

Duncan, one of the few remaining members of President Obama's original cabinet, announced that he will be resigning from his position in December in order to return to his home in Chicago to be with his family.

Formerly chief of Chicago Public Schools, Duncan has been Secretary of Education since 2009. It is anticipated that Obama will soon announce Duncan's replacement to be Deputy Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.

Though his tenure earned him his fair share of critics, "[e]ven Duncan’s critics describe him as a nice and straightforward man who cares about kids," reported Michael Grunwald in POLITICO's annual education issue earlier this month.

During Duncan's announcement, he described his resignation as saddening but admitted the struggle of commuting back and forth from D.C. to Chicago to be with his wife and children was getting to be too much. He will continue to "involve the work of expanding opportunity for children, but I have no idea what that will look like yet," he said.

Despite facing criticism over the Race to the Top program and pushing Common Core standards, Duncan has seen some promising improvements to education as he leaves his position.

"U.S. graduation rates are at an all-time high, with the biggest improvements for minorities and the poor. Dropout rates are at an all-time low. Test scores are slightly up, with some of the biggest gains in states that embraced the administration’s approach to reform," Grunwald said.

Read more here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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