Friday, 12 December 2008

Who will be Obama's education pick?

So far, President-elect Obama has played a blinder with his cabinet picks. But reform-minded progressives are watching closely to see who he decides to make his education secretary.

The AP has listed six potential candidates, where Arne Duncan, the Chicago schools boss, John Schnur, who has developed the brilliant New Leaders for Schools programme or New Orleans recovery superintendent Paul Vallas would all signal that Obama is a reformer, a supporter of accountability and charter schools, and is open to the sort of radical change that the bipartisan efforts of Ted Kennedy with President Bush failed to achieve through lack of funds. New York's Joel Klein would be another good pick.

Alternatively, he could pick his education adviser, Stanford Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, and set back the cause of reform by decades. Obama cannily played both sides of the debate in the election. Soon he will have to decide. His decision will be an important one for the direction of progressive politics.

No comments: