U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared today at events in Minnesota, including a town hall with Gov Mark Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.
The event at Irondale High School in New Brighton drew hundreds of people, including state legislators and commissioners. Before the town hall, Duncan toured Irondale programs that allow high school students to take college-level courses and, in some cases, graduate from high school with an associate's degree.
The education secretary repeatedly praised Minnesota's educational efforts.
"I came here a couple years ago and frankly was a little bit tough on Minnesota," Duncan said. "I didn't feel that there was a sense of urgency, I didn't feel there was a push to go to the next level. And I have to say the past couple years, the commitment to reform, the increased sense of urgency, and ultimately the results have been pretty extraordinary."
Minnesota education officials have asked for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. Duncan did not comment on the application.