The Associated Press reported on Friday that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected to step down in December, according to their sources. Duncan reportedly wrote a letter to staff and said he would be returning to Chicago to live with his family, and the president is expected to address Duncan’s stepping down Friday afternoon. He has served as education secretary since the beginning of the Obama administration.
BREAKING: WASHINGTON (AP) _ AP sources: Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step down in December.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 2, 2015
Duncan is best known for championing charter school expansions, Common Core state standards, and an emphasis on testing to better understand academic progress. Several of those reforms have been controversial. Common Core state standards, which were adopted in 46 states to raise academic standards, have been especially so. The Education Department has been criticized for Common Core implementation and what some conservatives have called “government overreach,” despite the fact that the standards were entirely voluntary.
Duncan landed himself in hot water over his statement that those opposing Common Core were “suburban moms” who were upset to discover that there children weren’t “brilliant.” Before becoming education secretary, Duncan served as the head of Chicago Public Schools, where he attracted controversy there as well for shutting down several underperforming schools in predominantly African American neighborhoods and opened new schools, a trend that continued after Duncan’s departure.
Duncan was expected to stay on until the end of the Obama administration. John King, who serves as delegated deputy secretary, is in charge of department operations and pre-K through 12th grade education. Although the president is asking King to be acting secretary through the end of his term, he isn’t nominating him as secretary, the AP report states. The president will make a statement Friday afternoon.
It seems like Ted Mitchell would be in line to be acting Secretary of Education, as John King was never confirmed as Deputy.
— Zakiya Smith (@SmithZakiya) October 2, 2015