Monday, December 15, 2008

Arne Duncan to be named Secretary of Education

According to Lyne Sweet, in a column for the Chicago Sun Times, President-elect Obama will name Arne Duncan, head of Chicago's Public Schools, to be Secretary of Education.

According to the article in Wikipedia, Duncan is the son of Starkey Duncan, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, and Susan Morton, who runs a Children's Center on the city's south side for African American youth.

He attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in sociology in 1987. At Harvard, Duncan was co-captain of the basketball team and named a first team Academic All-American

Duncan played pro basketball for three years after graduation while also devoting himself to children's issues. 1998 he joined the Chicago Public Schools, where he became Deputy Chief of Staff for former Schools CEO Paul Vallas. Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Duncan to his current post on June 26, 2001.

He plays in pick up games with Obama, and is close to several members of Obama's advisors and transition team members.

Duncan, according to various reports, has demonstrated a good deal of savvy in dealing with his various constituencies. His appointment may be viewed as avoiding some of the divisiveness that would have resulted from the selection of Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford or Joel Klein of the New York Schools, though he would appear to be somewhat closer to Klein as both are big city school administrators.

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