August 9, 2012 (CHICAGO) --U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls the interim deal between Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union on a longer school day a huge step in the right direction. Duncan spoke at a conference Thursday in Chicago. He was the schools CEO in Chicago from 2001 until 2008. "This is a great thing for Chicago public school students, it's a great thing for the city, it's a great thing for teachers, and I think there may have been a lot of discussions or discord or whatever leading up to it, but the bottom line is they got it done," said Duncan. The teachers union said Thursday that despite the interim agreement, "there are many open issues still on the negotiating table in which there has been little movement."