Obama on Ed Pick: Gifted Leader (and Great Jump Shot)

Also promises reform and stuff
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2008 1:29 PM CST
President-elect Barack Obama, left, with Vice President-elect Joe Biden, introduces his Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan, not shown, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama introduced Arne Duncan as his secretary of education pick today, lauding the Chicago educator's accomplishments in reforming the country's third-largest school district, and noting that he's also a longtime basketball buddy who has a better jump shot than the president-elect. “I didn't pick Arne because he's a great basketball player,” Obama said, “but I will say that we’re putting together probably the best basketball-playing Cabinet in American history.”

“When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners,” Obama said. “It’s the cause of his life.” Duncan, who's been the COO of Chicago's public schools since 2001, called education the “civil rights issue of our generation,” and added that Chicago’s struggling schools have lately been “on a winning streak.”