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Duncan To D.C.

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 16, 2008 6:40PM

This morning President-Elect Barack Obama has nominated Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan for his education secretary because right now is the perfect time to garner support for nominating Illinois politicians to high-ranking national positions. This in spite of Mayor Daley's pleading before the election to keep Arne in Chicago. Obama said of Duncan, "When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners. When faced with tough decisions, Arne doesn't blink." We're guessing the same goes for when facing someone with a nasty cross-over dribble. Obama continued, "In just seven years, he's boosted elementary test scores here in Chicago from 38 percent of students meeting the standards to 67 percent. The dropout rate has gone down every year he's been in charge." For his part, Duncan said he was "grateful" and added, "[Education] is the civil rights issue of our generation. And it is the one sure path to a more fair, equal and just society." During the press conference, Obama continued to avoid answering questions regarding any contact aides may have had with Gov. Blagojevich's office.

In other news, Obama named his energy team yesterday.

  • Sen. Ken Salazar (Dem, Colorado) - Interior Department,
  • Nobel-prize winning physicist Steven Chu - energy secretary
  • Lisa Jackson - Environmental Protection Agency
  • Carol Browner - head of a White House council on energy and climate.
  • Nancy Sutley, a deputy Los Angeles mayor - chair of the White House Council on Environment Quality