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Arne Duncan on American education: ‘We have a crisis on multiple levels’

As states across the country struggle with huge budget deficits, there may be no area more controversial than proposed cuts in education spending.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie eliminated about $800 million in state education aid, but this week a superior court judge ruled those cuts unconstitutional. In Texas, thousands rallied in Austin to protest proposed cuts of $10 billion to education. While in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer is trying to coax legislative Republicans in her state to back off plans to cut state aid to education.

All of this comes as the federal government is calling for a change in education policy. The Obama administration has announced that it wants an overhaul of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in New York last week for an international summit on teaching — Need to Know’s Jon Meacham sat down with him asked him about American students’ achievement rankings compared to students in other nations.