department of education

Education Secretary Duncan to Leave Government

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, one of President Obama’s longest serving Cabinet members, will leave his post after seven years on the job at the end of December.

The President will not nominate a new Education Secretary before the end of his term.

Instead, Dr. John King Jr., a senior Education official who previously oversaw pre-K through high school education issues and served as the department’s operations manager, will continue leading Education after Duncan’s departure. King was a state education commissioner in New York before joining the Department.

“Arne has done more to bring our educational system -- sometimes kicking and screaming -- into the 21st century than anybody else,” the President said of Duncan at a White House press conference announcing the personnel change.

The President, who “pushed Arne to stay,” could no longer keep his long-time friend from Chicago from heading home to his family.

“Serving the President in the work of expanding opportunity for students throughout this country has been the greatest honor of my life,” Duncan wrote in a letter to department staff.  “Doing so alongside people of the brilliance, ability and moral conviction of the team here at ED has been nothing short of thrilling. We have been lucky to have an amazing team here from Day One, but I honestly believe our team today is the strongest it’s ever been.”

“The work of this Department is exceptionally ambitious – to ensure that every student in this country enjoys genuine opportunity to learn, to grow, to excel. As a comparatively small team, often under challenging conditions and timelines, our staff has continued to offer example after example of dedication beyond the call of duty,” Duncan continued in the letter to staff. “I’m honored to have led you, and delighted by what good hands this Department will be in. I ask each of you that you offer John and his team the same commitment I’ve witnessed from you.”

King said he will press on with Duncan’s sometimes controversial policies at Education, which placed the administration at odds with teachers unions and other groups. 

Posted in General News

Tags: OPM



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