Arne Duncan Obama’s Pick for Education Secretary

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 15, 2008 6:26pm

Sources tell me that President-elect Barack Obama will announce Chicago public schools boss Arne Duncan as his pick for Education Secretary Tuesday at a news conference in Chicago. ABC News’ David Chalian reports teachers unions will likely have nice things to say about Duncan. Obama will take the opportunity to paint Duncan as a reformer not in the pockets in any of the education special interests. Besides that, he’s a basketball buddy of the next President and the only professional athlete in the Cabinet so far. The former Harvard co-captain and all American played four years of pro ball in Australia. ABC’s Jim Avila reports Duncan is close to Rich Daley who appointed him to reform Chicago schools in the 1990′s when Daley went to local school councils and demolished the bureaucratic structure at the school board. They stopped practice of "social advancement" — passing a child who hadn’t passed the tests.  It led to hundreds if not thousands of kids being held back and, some argue, put pressure on teachers. –George Stephanopoulos

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