Secretary of Education:
Incumbent: Arne Duncan
(January 20, 2009 - Present)

(Click on the picture to learn more!)

Presdidental Succession:
16th in line
Assists the President in operating and improving the education system of the United States.

**Past Secretaries of Education.bmp**

Duncan's Goals:
~ Recovery Act- $44 billion available to states to help avoid the expected hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs and driving crucial education improvements and results for students
~ Budget Proposal to Increase College Affordability and Access- 2010 budget that would dramatically expand student financial aid while making it simpler, more reliable and more efficient

Fun Facts:
~ Grew up in Hyde Park and went to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Married to wife Karen and has two children, Claire and Ryan.
~ Duncan spent four years playing professional basketball in Australia. (He went Down Under after first trying out for the Boston Celtics.)
~ In 1998, Duncan was hired to run Chicago's magnet schools program, the most high-power education position in Chicago. He was only 36 and never held a high position job before, let alone ever had a secretary.
~ In 2000, 76% of Chicago public school students showed up for class on the first day of the year. By 2003, the rate was 89%.
~ To discourage students from quitting school, beginning in 2004, potential Chicago dropouts were required to sign a form acknowledging statements such as: "I will not be able to afford many things that I will see others acquiring," "I will be less likely to find good jobs that pay well, bad jobs that don't pay well, or maybe any jobs," and "I will be more likely to rely on the state welfare system for my livelihood."
~ In September 2008, Duncan launched a program in 20 Chicago schools to pay students for good grades. Straight-A students could earn up to $4,000 per year through the program, funded by private donations.