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Arne Duncan, Education Secretary, to Step Down in December

WASHINGTON — Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, whose influential Race to the Top program offered financial incentives for school districts to innovate, announced Friday that he would step down in December, marking the departure of one of the longest-serving members of President Obama’s cabinet.

Mr. Duncan was arguably one of the most powerful education secretaries in history, both because of his personal ties to the president and the billions of dollars in funding that came to the department as part of the fiscal stimulus program during the financial crisis.