The Education Secretary job hasn’t yet gotten much attention, but with the principles for the national security and economic teams in place people are starting to focus on it. And for whatever it’s worth, let me add my vote to Paul Glastris and The Washington Post in hoping that Obama picks a serious reformer who’ll work with George Miller and Ted Kennedy to keep the momentum for education change moving forward rather than a timid incrementalist whose main role is to reward the teacher’s unions for their support during the general elections.
I don’t have any particular candidate I’m pushing, but Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan seems like the obvious pick out of the reform camp for a Chicago-based politician.
But of course it’s worth saying that who gets which cabinet post is of limited relevance when it comes to this sort of thing. Margaret Spellings is currently Secretary of Education and also the most influential voice on education policy. But she was the most influential voice on education policy back when she was Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy as well. Given the intra-party divides on education, and the second-tier nature of the issue, I would be very surprised to see either camp shut out of an Obama administration. The question then becomes who does he listen to and about what.