USDE: Duncan Defends Choice Of Successor In Chicago
The smalltown stink of Chicago politics never goes away, I guess. Having failed to get Mayor Daley's approval for his own pick for successor -- a long-serving African-American educator who served as his chief academic officer -- newly minted Obama EdSec Arne Duncan nonetheless showed up dutifully at the Tuesday press conference where Mayor Daley announced his pick for Chicago schools CEO, the 37 year-old son of Israeli immigrants who's been bouncing around city government for the last few years wherever Daley needs him.
At the event -- attended by no other officials or community leaders besides the three principals -- Duncan dutifully hailed the Mayor's choice (Ron Huberman) as a great pick who would do a great job. (See coverage here.)
It's not so objectionable to me that Huberman is the third white guy in a row to head a school system that is overwhelmingly black and Latino. It's not that a non-educator can't run a big city school system. It's not even that Duncan's pick -- Barbara Eason-Watkins -- would necessarily have done a better job. Rather, it's the absence of any kind of national search that might bring in a new energy and thinking for CPS, and -- perhaps most of all -- Duncan's decision to support a decision he clearly disagrees with. Come on, man. Stand up.