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USA: Leadership change at the US Department of Education

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, one of the members of Obama's original cabinet, has announced his decision to step down by the end of the year after a nearly seven-year tenure. Rather than nominating a new education secretary and seeking a confirmation from the Republican-controlled US Senate, President Obama has chosen the current Deputy Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. to replace Duncan for the remaining year of the administration on an interim basis.  
A champion of college access and affordability, Duncan touts the doubling of funding for federal grants destined to low- and middle-income undergraduates among his major accomplishments as Secretary of Education. His tenure, one of the longest in US History, was also marked by an increased pressure on college accountability for student success.
John B. King will assume his new role following a year of service in the Department of Education, where he oversaw elementary and secondary education. Former teacher, principal and New York State Education Commissioner, King holds degrees from Harvard and Yale Law School and has earned his doctorate from Columbia University.  The White House Office of the Press Secretary