Education Secretary Arne Duncan does not keep a low profile like many of his predecessors, and he is at the forefront of the Obama administration's sweeping efforts to reform the nation's schools. Duncan has said the federal government should be "a partner not a boss" when working with states and school districts, but he is "not willing to be a silent partner." Federal officials should spur reform, he said, by promoting changes that transform failing schools, prevent dropouts and set higher standards for students that better prepare them for college and careers.

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