Obama Chooses Arne Duncan for Secretary of Education

It’s official. Barack Obama has nominated Arne Duncan, the current chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, to serve as the Secretary of Education for his upcoming administration.
As the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Duncan has taken some aggressive and controversial stands. Here’s a rundown of Duncan’s qualifications and what he’s done in the Chicago Public Schools.
He was a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University in 1987 with a degree in sociology. He was also the co-captain of Harvard’s basketball team. Duncan was Director of Chicago’s Ariel Education Initiative, an organization that seeks to create educational opportunities for inner-city kids through mentoring and tutoring, between 1992 and 1998, and then ran Chicago’s magnet school system from 1998-2001, when he then became the CEO of the Chicago Public schools. During his time as CEO he accomplished the following:

  • Duncan has strongly advocated charter schools and has closed down under-performing schools.
  • Duncan aggressively sought to improve attendance and dropout rates in the Chicago Public Schools.
  • Duncan supported a proposal to open a school for Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender students.

Duncan has quite a full schedule lined up for him over the next few years, with No Child Left Behind badly in need of reform, out of control tuition costs at public colleges and universities, and budget cuts at public schools across the country.