The federal government must do more than provide money to ensure the success of students with disabilities, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told state education leaders Friday.

In a speech to to the National Association of State Boards of Education, the nation’s top dog on education told state education leaders that he wants to be a partner with them in improving the educational system, not a boss. But, Duncan said, he will not accept the status quo.

“Some have suggested that the federal government’s primary responsibility is to provide money for the education of low-income students and children with disabilities,” Duncan said. “But the federal government needs to do more than that. We need to ensure that those students are receiving the education they need to prepare them for success in college and the workplace.”

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Duncan said he’s committed to working with state and local leaders to define “success” and close the achievement gap.