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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 28th, 2014
05:11 PM ET

Education secretary weighs in on Obama going it alone

(CNN) - President Barack Obama is expected to address education reform during tonight's State of the Union.

And although, according to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, "education should be the ultimate bipartisan issue," bypassing Congress is not out of the question.

"If Congress continues to be dysfunctional, we just have to do the right thing, whether it's more children having access to childhood education, whether it's continuing to increase high school graduation rates, reduce drop out rates, having more young people going to college," Duncan told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Duncan was echoing the sentiments of his boss; Obama said recently he is ready to go it alone without Congress, through executive orders.

"I have to remind him we do have a constitution," Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a breakfast Tuesday morning. "The Congress writes the laws, and the President's job is to execute the laws faithfully and if he tries to ignore this he's going to run into a brick wall."

But will the President's strategy to act alone set a precedent that Republicans will follow?

"The first choice is to always work together," said Duncan. "I can't think of a better place to get past the historical dysfunction than around increasing educational opportunity for young people."

For more of our interview with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, check out the video above.

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