Arne Duncan to step down as education secretary
- According to the Associated Press, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will step down in December.
- Delegated deputy secretary John King Jr. will take over as acting education secretary for the remainder of President Barack Obama's term in office.
- Duncan reportedly plans to return to Chicago to live with his family, and statements from Obama are expected later this afternoon.
Duncan's tenure as education secretary hasn't been without controversy. As the nation's ed chief, he has courted criticism in many circles due to the perceived overuse of standardized tests, pushes to require states to tie those tests to teacher evaluations and adopt Common Core State Standards, and the use of waivers from the stringent requirements of No Child Left Behind to further influence those changes, among others.
The moves particularly rankled the nation's teacher unions, which are usually aligned with Democrats, with the National Education Association calling for his resignation last year over his comments on a California court decision that struck down teacher tenure protection and the "onslaught of corporate reformers."
Still, the accountability measures supported by the outgoing secretary had their share of backers, as well, including prominent civil rights organizations that have made their voices heard during the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind in its current form).
- Associated Press AP sources: Education Secretary Arne Duncan stepping down
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