Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday praised and defended a proposal for setting student loan rates that was created by a bipartisan group of senators last week and is expected to go to a vote this week. He urged lawmakers to "to get this done as soon as possible."

Although some Democrats have criticized the plan for not doing enough for students, Duncan focused on the positives: Millions of college students and other borrowers could lock-in education loans for the coming school year at rates that are much lower than the current rates. Those new rates would eventually save many students an estimated $1,500 over the life of the loan.