KING OF THE HILL: In a vote of 49-40, the Senate has confirmed John B. King as the leader of the US Department of Education. He is the first principal, African-American and Puerto Rican to hold the post and succeeds Arne Duncan, who stepped down in December.
Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. and chairman of the Senate Education Committee, was pleased with the hearings. He has said in the past that he didn't want to go a whole year without an education secretary, promising to give King a "prompt and fair" hearing, according to USA Today. President Obama had originally planned to forego confirmation hearings but changed course in response at Alexander's urging.
Alexander said in a speech to the Senate on March 14, "We need an education secretary confirmed by and accountable to the United States Senate so that the law fixing No Child Left Behind will be implemented the way Congress wrote it."