Washington, D.C. — Carmel Martin, the Executive Vice President, Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Before joining CAP, Martin was the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development at the Department of Education.
From Chicago Public Schools to the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan’s career in public service has centered around securing a better, brighter future for our nation’s students. Under Arne’s leadership, states and districts took on the most significant K-12 reform measures in a generation—higher standards to prepare children for college and career, steps to improve the country’s most struggling schools, and measures to support effective teachers and school leaders. He has fought to ensure that communities at risk of marginalization in the classroom—such as students of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners—do not fall through the cracks. He has helped bring evidence-based, innovative policies to education and continued to challenge the status quo.
Beyond K-12 education, Arne helped put high-quality early childhood programs at the forefront of the national policy agenda by proposing a major investment in preschool, and he championed programs such as Preschool Development Grants, which has helped thousands of children access early education. In higher education, Duncan oversaw a nearly $1,000 increase in the maximum Pell Grant for the lowest-income students—paid for at zero cost to taxpayers by ending unnecessary subsidies to banks. He also worked to protect students from poor-quality career programs through new rules aimed at curbing questionable practices.
For those of us who had the opportunity to work with Arne, it was evident each and every day that his commitment to education, to students, and to public service is unparalleled. I am confident that the Department of Education will continue to do great work under President Barack Obama’s leadership and with Arne’s team and that the department will be in good hands with John King as acting secretary. I know I am joined by many in wishing the best for Arne and his family as he returns to his home city of Chicago after seven years as our nation’s secretary of education.
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