Vouchers for impoverished students to attend private or parochial schools do not work, Secretary of Education Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanAmerica's religion of anti-racism reaches peak absurdity What the next Education secretary must do How Democrats learned to stop worrying and love teachers MORE flatly stated Friday.

"I've been very, very clear that I don't think vouchers work," Duncan said at a forum at the National Press Club today. "They're not the answer."

Vouchers serve too few of children on a community level, Duncan said, adding that wholesale reform of the education system is more effective.

"If a nonprofit or philanthropy wants to provide scholarship money to children, that's a great, great use of the resources," he said. "But I don't want to save one or two percent of children and let 98, 99 percent drown. We have to be much more ambitious than that."

Duncan did, however, back continued vouchers for D.C. schoolchilden still on the program.