Obama Education Secretary: US education system is 'top 10 in nothing'

Former Education Secretary Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanObama Education Secretary: US education system is 'top 10 in nothing' Obama Cabinet official: Trump doesn’t want educated workforce Obama Education secretary: DeVos's yacht set adrift a 'crazy metaphor' for her policy MORE on Thursday lamented the state of the U.S. education system, saying it is “top 10 in nothing.” 

“The brutal truth is that, whether you look at early childhood education access to [education], whether you look at math and science scores K-12, whether you look at college completion rates, we’re top 10 in nothing,” Duncan said on Yahoo Finance's Midday Movers.

“And that’s not good enough.”


Duncan was one of the nation's longest-serving Education secretaries, serving from 2009-2015.

He has been a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE's Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDeVos: DOE to investigate if federal regs were broken in college admissions scandal DeVos moves to allow religious groups to provide federally funded services to private schools GOP bill would limit foreign student involvement in sensitive research projects MORE.

On the Yahoo show, he said he believes the country's school system runs on “lies.” 

“I'll start with the fact that we all say we care about education, we value education, but the truth is, almost none of us vote around who's going to increase educational opportunity,” he said. 

"Second, we say we care about teachers and how important they are," he continued. "We don't pay them as true professionals, we don't train them as true professionals." 

"And I honestly don't think we value our children enough," he concluded. "In other nations, kids just don't die the way they do here in America, across our society." 

Duncan is on a media tour promoting his new book "How Schools Work." 

A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found U.S. students lag behind their peers in other developed nations in terms of math, reading and science. Using the most recent results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a cross-national test that assesses skills among global 15-year-olds, the U.S. ranked 38 out of the 71 countries in math and 24th in science, Pew found.