Marc Ambinder has the scoop:

Tomorrow, at a school in the Chicago area, President-Elect Barack Obama will announce his choice to lead the Department of Education, and education insiders, citing the Obama transition team, say it’s Arne Duncan, the CEO of schools there.

A senior transition official confirms that Obama plans to nominate Duncan.

Duncan has run Chicago schools for seven years and has become friendly with Obama. A 6 foot 5 inch tall Harvard grad and former Australian professional basketball player, he’s managed the political hat trick of winning praise from the education reform community, the unions, and is well-liked by parents, too.

[…]

…the American Federation of Teachers praises his management style. He’s beloved by charter schools advocates.

Like Obama, Duncan favors merit pay for teachers and administrators, but he’s been cautious about pushing the concept too far without input from teachers’ unions.

This isn’t too big of a surprise. Duncan was the odds-on bet, adding even more Chicago flavor to the Obama administration.

The guy must be pretty skilled if he can nab the affection of each constituency in education-land.

I’ll definitely be checking him out. Looks good initially.

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