Arne Duncan visiting an 8th-grade class at Berkeley's Longfellow school. Photo: Baechler-Brabo.

By Lea Baechler-Brabo

It was a busy Friday for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, but he found the time to make his way to an 8th grade algebra classroom at Longfellow Middle School.

On his stop in Berkeley, together with U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, he heard from students that “my teachers really care about me” and from teachers that “we have high expectations for all of our students”.

Duncan, who was CEO of Chicago Public Schools before President Obama selected him as Secretary of Education, has spearheaded the $4 billion Race to the Top initiative, a federal government effort to spur innovation and change in the nation’s public schools. California is not one of the 11 states to qualify for Race to the Top funds.

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