TC Alumnus John King to succeed Duncan as Education Secretary | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC Alumnus John King to succeed
Arne Duncan as Education Secretary

Teachers College alumnus John King (Ed.D. ’08, M.A.’97) has been named U.S. Secretary of Education. He will succeed Arne Duncan, who has held the post since President Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Duncan will step down in December.

As New York State Commissioner of Education from May 2011 to January 2015, King presided over New York’s rollout of the Common Core State Standards and championed the Dignity Act, which sought to prevent bullying in schools. He was the first black or Puerto Rican to serve as New York’s education commissioner. He left earlier this year to become a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Education.

Prior to his commissionership, King co-founded and served as Managing Director of Uncommon Schools, where he helped found several of the highest performing urban charter schools in New York. At Teachers College, he earned his doctorate in Inquiry in Educational/Administration Practice within the Department of Organization & Leadership and his master’s degree in the Teaching of Social Studies within the Department of Arts & Humanities. He also holds a B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

King's parents, both of whom were New York City public school educators, died by the time he was 12. He has credited his teachers at New York City’s P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain J.H.S. in Coney Island for “providing transformative educational experiences” that enabled him to persevere in school and in life.    

In 2012, King received TC’s Distinguished Alumni Award, presented at the College’s Academic Festival.

King was featured in the College’s 2013 web series, Mini-Moments with Big Thinkers.  


Published Friday, Oct. 2, 2015

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