Obama’s Pick for Secretary of Education Is Arne Duncan


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CNN is reporting that Barack Obama’s choice for secretary of education is Arne Duncan, the head of Chicago public schools.

It should be noted here that an assessment of Secretary Candidate Duncan’s record in Chicago will be examined by many in the media.  This writer’s initial review has found that within the last two years that High School 11th Graders reading and writing proficiency skills fall within the lower third percentile in America.  In addition, within the 50 largest cities, Chicago rates 17 from the bottom and graduation rates at 52.2%.

In Chicago, only 51 percent of students graduate in four years, and in nearby Joliet only 48 percent graduate in four years. Illinois cities are not alone; nineteen of the top 25 largest cities in America graduate less than 60 percent of their students on time,

About Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard’s basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. From 1987-1991, Mr. Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.

Duncan returned to Chicago in 1992 to direct the Ariel Education Initiative, which seeks to create outstanding educational opportunities for inner-city children on the City’s South Side.  In 1998, he joined the Chicago Public Schools.

In June, 2001, Mayor Richard M. Daley named Duncan Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools. 

Duncan currently serves on the Boards of the Ariel Education Initiative, Chicago Cares, The Children’s Center, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jobs for America’s Graduates, Junior Achievement, the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Foundation, Renaissance Schools Fund, Scholarship Chicago and the South Side YMCA.

He also serves on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College and the Visiting Committees for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.  He was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago’s class of 1995, and a member of the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2002.  He has received honorary degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Lake Forest College and National Louis University.

In 2006, the City Club of Chicago named Duncan Citizen of the Year.

Obama is expected to appear with Duncan at the Dodge Renaissance Academy on Tuesday morning.

It is known around town that Obama and Duncan shoot hoops together.  Basic qualification for Education Secretary is playing Basketball with the Former Senator. No matter the Record. Arnie will continue to help Obama’s Games as he  played professional basketball in Australia with the Eastside Spectres of the National Basketball League,(Source Wickipedia) 52.2% Graduation rate.  This is the Presidential candidate who comes to South Carolina calling I-95, “the Corridor of Shame” and then Hires the Guy who Runs the Chicago School system and lets him win at basketball. 

Related Stories:


Brief Version of Obama’s Prepared Statements on Education Secratary

Obama names Chicago school chief to Education Dept.

Additional Reading

Press Conference Presentation  Press Release

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