As reported by Associated Press, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, 50, will be leaving the position in December. He is the second longest-serving cabinet member in the Obama Administration. Deputy Education Secretary John King is expected to become the acting Secretary of Education.
Duncan’s tenure has been an event-filled one. Duncan, who was not an educator with a long background of teaching or administration in the education field, was focused on reform. That sometimes caused controversy. Issues around the handling of Parent PLUS and Historically Black Colleges and Universities were a problem. Issues around school testing were huge during Duncan’s tenure as was school privatization.
Duncan also focused on the school-to-prison pipeline and the high school dropout rate. Dropout rates greatly improved under Duncan’t tenure.
This week, Duncan spoke at the National Press Club about the need to spend more resources in schools rather than prisons.