Education Secretary Arne Duncan Steps Down After 7 Years in Obama Administration | NBC Chicago
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Education Secretary Arne Duncan Steps Down After 7 Years in Obama Administration

Duncan is one of Obama's longest-serving Cabinet members and among the few who formed a close personal relationship with the president

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    Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, speaks at a press conference announcing that Starbucks will partner with Arizona State University to offer full tuition reimbursement for Starbucks employees to complete a bachelor's degree, on June 16, 2014 in New York City.(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

    President Barack Obama is reluctantly accepting the resignation of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, saying he's earned the right to return home as one of the longest-serving secretaries in the department's history.

    Obama says Duncan oversaw several improvements in the nation's schools, including greater investment by states in early childhood education and high school graduation rates that are at an all-time high.

    Duncan is one of Obama's longest-serving Cabinet members and among the few who formed a close personal relationship with the president.

    He is a firm supporter of federal standardized testing, but he also granted numerous waivers to states exempting them from some federal requirements.

    Obama has asked John King Jr., a senior Education Department official, to oversee the department in an acting capacity.

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