(CNN) – Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he should have been clearer when describing the effects automatic spending cuts would have on one particular school district in West Virginia, saying Monday he was sorry for using the faulty example.
Duncan told reporters at the White House last Wednesday that the Kanawha County school system was already handing out pink slips in anticipation of the automatic cuts that, among other things, will impact the amount of federal money states get through September.
(CNN) – First lady Michelle Obama will attend a funeral service on Saturday for Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago 15-year-old gunned down last week in a park, a White House official said Thursday.
Washington (CNN) - Heading into a second term at the helm of the education department, Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday that the largest missed opportunity of President Barack Obama's first term was the lack of movement on an immigration reform measure.
"I think there's a moment of opportunity on both sides to get some soul searching maybe a little more on the Republican side," Duncan said. "We have to do something about immigration reform and one of my ... biggest disappointments of the first four years is that we didn't get the DREAM Act passed."
(CNN) - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney faced questions over the president's position on same-sex marriage Monday, after some in the Obama administration –including Vice President Joe Biden - expressed support for the issue in the last two days.
Biden, Carney argued, was not voicing a new White House position when he said Sunday he was "absolutely comfortable" with two individuals of the same gender getting legally married.
(Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET)
Washington (CNN) - The Rev. Al Sharpton and a range of activists on Saturday fervently marked the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and some delivered pointed remarks about conservatives rallying nearby at the site where King delivered his seminal address.
Sharpton spearheaded the "Reclaim the Dream" rally at Dunbar High School in northwestern Washington, addressing a throng that later embarked on a march to the planned King memorial after they listened to speaker after speaker extol the virtues and visions King stood for.
Sharpton and others couldn't resist discussing the controversial event at the Lincoln Memorial organized by conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, a rally Beck called "Restoring Honor." Beck, who has a program on Fox News as well as several radio programs, was criticized for holding his rally at the site of King's speech on the anniversary.
"They may have the mall," Sharpton said, "but we have the message. They may have the platform but we have the dream."
Washington (CNN) – Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Monday that other countries have outpaced the United States in education advancements because Americans have "lost our way" and not remained focused on improving education.
"When we led the world a generation ago we flat-lined. It's not that we've dropped, we're just stagnated," Duncan said in an interview on CNN's "John King USA."
"I think we became complacent and, frankly, I think we lost our way a little bit as a country. Other folks invested more, took this more seriously, and frankly I think we're paying a price of this in terms of the tough economic climate today."
Washington (CNN) - Eighteen states and the District of Columbia were selected as finalists to receive more than $3 billion in the second round of funding for the Race to the Top Program, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Tuesday.
Duncan, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, said that peer reviewers selected the states for having bold education reform plans aimed at improving teaching methods, using data systems to aid student development and turning around underperforming schools, to name a few.
The finalists chosen were: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Washington (CNN) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan says President Obama "absolutely supports" a congressional proposal for $23 billion in emergency education spending in order to stave off teacher layoffs and cancellation of summer classes.
Duncan told CNN Wednesday that the emergency spending request is needed to head off "an education catastrophe, " in which as many as 300-thousand teachers across the country could be laid off.
Duncan also said that without the extra spending, some school districts will be forced to eliminate summer school and after-school programs.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-California, are behind the bid in the Senate and House to approve the extra spending.
Duncan has asked Congress to add the money to an emergency spending measure, being considered this week, that would fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama's point man for improving America's schools said Tuesday that boosting educational opportunities will help the struggling economy.
"We have to educate our way to a better economy," Education Secretary Arne Duncan says in an interview set to air on CNN's "John King, USA."
In a wide-ranging interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Duncan defended changes to the federal student loan program that the president signed into law at a Virginia community college.
Under provisions included in the health care "fixes" bill, private banks will no longer handle federally-backed student loans. Previously, borrowers got college loans from either banks or the federal government. In return for administering loans to students, private banks received federal subsidies to provide student loans.
Related: FAQ's about student loan reform
Republicans have criticized the change as another example of the Obama administration taking control of something historically done by the private sector. But Duncan told King that the changes to the loan program shift money from banks to helping students finance their educations.
Washington (CNN) - On the same day that President Obama signed legislation revamping the federal student loan system, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told CNN he is concerned about the education of some NCAA athletes.
"I was lucky enough to have a phenomenal college athletic experience," Duncan says in an interview set to air on John King, USA. "The vast majority of student athletes get that. I worry when athletes are simply used by their universities to produce revenue, to make money for them, nothing to show at the back end. I grew up with a lot of players who had very, very tough lives after the ball started bouncing for them. And that's why I'm going to continue to fight."
Programming note: Watch more of Duncan's interview on John King, USA beginning at 7 p.m. E.T.