The Barack Obama transition team will nominate Arne Duncan (pictured), the Chicago public schools chief, as his choice as Secretary of Education. Duncan has run the country's third-largest school district since 2001, pushing to boost teacher quality, improve struggling schools, and, has been an outspoken advocate against handgun violence.
Duncan is also considered a strong ally of the gay and lesbian community. The CPS executive backed a recent proposalfor a high school planned as a haven for LGBT and bullied youth. Mayor Richard M. Daley and some gay advocates are not supporting the proposal and the plans are now considered DOA.
Not all educators in Chicago are pleased with the appointment. Some teachers have criticized Duncan's strong advocacy for charter schools and so-called "contract" schools which tens of thousands of Chicago students now attend.