Arne Duncan chosen as new Secretary of Education

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal‘s Washington Wire has the press release from President-elect Obama’s transition team:

Today, President-elect Barack Obama nominated superintendant of Chicago schools Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education.

President-elect Obama said, “In the next few years, the decisions we make about how to educate our children will shape our future for generations to come. When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners. For Arne, school reform isn’t just a theory in a book – it’s the cause of his life. And the results aren’t just about test scores or statistics, but about whether our children are developing the skills they need to compete with any worker in the world for any job. With his leadership, I am confident that together, we will bring our education system – and our economy – into the 21st century, and give all our kids the chance to succeed.”

The New York Times reports:

President-elect Barack Obama will name Arne Duncan, the superintendent of schools in Chicago, to be his Secretary of Education, a senior Democratic official and a second person close to the decision said….

He has seven years’ experience as chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, where he has earned a solid reputation for confronting pressing issues in public education, like how to raise teacher quality, how to transform weak schools and when to shutter those that are irredeemably failing.

Jim Lindgren @ The Volokh Conspiracy:

Barack Obama’s latest choice — Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education — is a serious guy and an effective administrator. While I doubt that Duncan will push vouchers, he is in favor of charter schools and he is not beholden to education unions.

Mike Petrilli @ the Thomas B. Fordman Institute:

Get ready for another golden era for charter schools. In many ways, the Bill Clinton years were better for charters than the George Bush years. Largely that’s because the press and the public expects Republicans to support choice and charters; it’s much more powerful when Democrats do so. And by all accounts, Arne Duncan loves charter schools. One person told me that Duncan would make every school a charter school if he could. But at the least, he will be an effective advocate for the view that urban districts can use chartering to promote their larger reform agendas. Which means charters are going mainstream.

Dan Lips @ the Heritage Foundation (via Kathryn Jean Lopez):

What is clear is that Mr. Duncan’s past work has earned applause from school reformers. He supports charter schools, public school choice, and merit pay for teachers and school leaders. Duncan also supports holding schools accountable for results and maintaining transparency about school performance through public reporting.

Warner Todd Huston @ NewsBusters:

Of that gay-friendly school, Duncan was quoted by Chicago land news outlets in October.

“If you look at national studies, you see gay and lesbian students with high dropout rates…Studies show they are disproportionately homeless,” Duncan said. “I think there is a niche there we need to fill.”

One wonders if Duncan will bring this proposal with him to Washington D.C. and attempt to force school systems all across the country to start up their own gay, lesbian and transgender schools?