Washington Post: Education Nominee Is Warmly Received in Senate
By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 14, 2009; A09
Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan, President-elect Barack Obama's pick for education secretary, promised yesterday to work to expand preschool, build the ranks of quality teachers and support such initiatives as charter schools and performance pay, setting out an agenda that won him broad bipartisan support at a Senate confirmation hearing.
Duncan's warm reception before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee indicated that he will be confirmed without a hitch.
Duncan, 44, was applauded for embracing an array of measures to boost achievement in the diverse and high-poverty Chicago schools during his seven years as chief executive. He has supported innovations and tough accountability while finding common ground with the teachers union and reaching out to the community.
"Mr. Duncan, there is no question that schools across America can benefit from the same kind of fresh thinking that you brought to Chicago public schools," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "As you know very well, perhaps our greatest educational challenge is to improve the performance of urban and rural public schools serving high-poverty communities."