U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan toned down his recent criticism of California in an interview with The Times, calling his previous threat to withhold federal funding from the state over a new plan to test students a "last resort."
"We want to be flexible, we want to be thoughtful," Duncan said. "We don't want to be stuck. There are lots of different things happening across the country. I don't want to be too hard and fast on any one of these things because I have not gone through every detail, every permutation."