|9th United States Secretary of Education|
January 21, 2009
|Preceded by||Margaret Spellings|
|Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools|
June 26, 2001 – January 21, 2009
|Appointed by||Richard Daley|
|Preceded by||Paul Vallas|
|Succeeded by||Ron Huberman|
November 6, 1964 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Early years and personal life 
Duncan was raised in Hyde Park, a Chicago neighborhood encompassing the University of Chicago. He is the son of Susan Goodrich Morton and Starkey Davis Duncan, Jr. His father was a psychology professor at the university and his mother runs the Sue Duncan Children's Center, an after-school program primarily serving African-American youth in the nearby Kenwood neighborhood. His ancestry includes Norwegian, Scottish, German, Swedish, and English; his maternal great-great-great-grandfather was U.S. Representative Milo Goodrich. While growing up, Duncan spent much of his free time at his mother's center tutoring or playing with students there. Some of his childhood friends were John W. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Ariel Capital Management (now Ariel Investments) and founder of the Ariel Community Academy, Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, singer R. Kelly and award winning martial artist Michelle Gordon.
Duncan attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and later Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in sociology. His senior thesis, for which he took a year's leave to do research in the Kenwood neighborhood, was entitled The values, aspirations and opportunities of the urban underclass.
While at Harvard, Duncan co-captained the varsity basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. From 1987 to 1991, Duncan played professional basketball, mostly in Australia, with teams including Melbourne's Eastside Spectres, of Australia's National Basketball League. Duncan also participated in the 2012 and 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Games.
Education career 
In 1992 childhood friend and investment banker John W. Rogers, Jr., appointed Duncan director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program mentoring children at one of the city's worst-performing elementary schools and then assisting them as they proceeded further in the education system. After the school closed in 1996, Duncan and Rogers were instrumental in re-opening it as a charter school, Ariel Community Academy. In 1999, Duncan was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.
CEO of Chicago Public Schools 
Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Duncan to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools on June 26, 2001. Opinions vary on Duncan's success as CEO; one prominent publication notes improved test scores and describes Duncan as a consensus builder, while another finds the improvements largely a myth and is troubled by the closing of neighborhood schools and their replacement by charter schools, and what it describes as schools' militarization.
U.S. Secretary of Education 
Duncan was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2009. One of Duncan's well-known initiatives as secretary has been a $4 billion Race to the Top competition. It asks states to vie for federal education dollars by submitting proposals that include reforms such as expanding charter schools and judging teachers partly on how well their students do on standardized tests. Duncan sends his own children to public schools. In March 2011 Duncan said 82 percent of the nation’s public schools could be failing by next year under the standards of the No Child Left Behind law. The projection amounts to a startling spike from current data, which shows that 37 percent of schools are on track to miss targets set by the law. "Four out of five schools in America would not meet their goals under [No Child Left Behind] by next year", Duncan said in his opening statement.
Teachers' unions, such as the National Education Association (NEA), have criticized the Obama Administration's embrace of charter schools as part of the Race to the Top. The NEA gave the Race to the Top a vote of "no confidence," and invited critic Diane Ravitch to speak at their 2010 meeting. In February 2012, Duncan was criticized for appearing publicly on a panel with Michelle Rhee—former Washington D.C. Chancellor of Schools. The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education (the Department which Duncan heads) was, at that time, investigating whether D.C. schools had cheated to raise test scores during Rhee's tenure. On February 26, 2012, the New York Times quoted criticisms of Duncan by Richard L. Hyde, an investigator who exposed the large-scale test-score cheating that was endemic in Atlanta (Georgia) City Schools: “'I’m shocked that the secretary of education would be fraternizing with someone who could potentially be the target of the investigation,' [Hyde] said. 'The appearance of a conflict of interest is troubling because it can cause the public to lose faith in the investigation.'”
- Williams, Carla D. (1984-01-10). "Blue Chip Stock". Thecrimson.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "Will Obama’s Choice Change Education in America? | Harvard Graduate School of Education". Gse.harvard.edu. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- Sweet, Lynn (December 15, 2008). "Arne Duncan to be named Obama Education Secretary". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "Former NBL star for White House team".
- "Obama". Time. December 2, 2008. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education - Biography". Ed.gov. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- Edmund Broch, US education secretary Arne Duncan endorses equal marriage, Pink News, 7 May 2012
- Lee, Carol E. (May 8, 2012). "Gay Marriage Back on Radar". The Wall Street Journal. p. A5.
- Young, Lauren (March 2002). "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood". SmartMoney. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
- "Deputy steps up to schools CEO". Crain's Chicago Business. July 2, 2001.
- "Arne Duncan". Chicago Public Schools. 2008.
- Kingsbury, Kathleen (December 16, 2008). "Will Arne Duncan Shake Up America's Schools?". Time. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- Brown, Jitu. "Rethinking Schools Online". Rethinkingschools.org. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education - Biography". .ed.gov. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "Bill Gates's college tour". The Washington Post.
- Berman, Russell. "Duncan: Change Bush 'No Child' law". Thehill.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- Teachers Could Defer Obama Support, by Stephanie Banchero, Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2011.
- Winerip, Michael (February 26, 2012). "Education Dept.'s Washington Schools Inquiry". The New York Times.
Media related to Arne Duncan at Wikimedia Commons
- United States Department of Education bio
- The Sue Duncan Children's Center
- Arne Duncan collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Arne Duncan on Charlie Rose
- Arne Duncan collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Works by or about Arne Duncan in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools
|United States Secretary of Education
|United States order of precedence|
as Secretary of Energy
|Order of Precedence of the United States
Secretary of Education
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|United States presidential line of succession|
as Secretary of Energy
|13th in line
Secretary of Education
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs