DFER National President Shavar Jeffries released the following statement on Secretary Duncan’s departure:
“In his past seven years as US Secretary of Education, and throughout his career, Arne Duncan has left an indelible mark on our nation’s school systems.
“Arne Duncan has effected more change in state and local education policies than any Secretary in the history of the Department. By actively advocating for the 2009 stimulus, Duncan helped pushed through the largest increase in federal education funding in history, and then worked diligently to ensure the money was put towards programs that worked for students.
“Under President Obama and Secretary Duncan’s leadership, we’ve seen tangible results. High school graduation rates have reached record highs and gaps have narrowed. Because of their leadership in increasing student aid, more students, especially low-income students, are enrolled in college. Duncan’s crackdown on corrupt and predatory practices by career colleges have helped protect students from exploitation and steered them out of dead-end post-secondary education and training programs.
“While the list of Secretary Duncan’s accomplishments can go on, one theme emerges: from pre-K through higher ed, he has been clear and consistent in message and policy that when it comes to any school –charter, traditional, or otherwise — quality and results matter.
“Through it all, he has placed the interests of children ahead of those of strong political forces. Secretary Duncan has shown an unwavering willingness stand up to special interests, both those within and outside the Democratic Party, in order to do what is right.
“Secretary Duncan has, every day and with every initiative, reminded us all what should be at the heart of America’s education policy: improving education in this country so that every child, regardless of where they grow up, has access to a high-quality education.”
For more on the Obama Administration’s education legacy, please visit Education Reform Now.