Obama picks Arne Duncan for Education Secretary

US President-elect Barack Obama has picked Arne Duncan, currently the chief of Chicago schools to serve as Education Secretary, according to people familiar with the matter

Arne Duncan has run Chicago’s school district, the nations third largest for past the past seven years where he focused on improving struggling schools but closing those that fail. Prior to running Chicago schools, Duncan ran an education nonprofit on Chicago’s South Side.

Obama’s choice of Duncan is seen as a selection that may satisfy both sides of the often contentious education debate, being both a reformer, but also known as an operator who is willing to work with teacher unions as well.

Obama and Duncan are friends and often play basketball together. The official announcement is expected to be made at a press conference Tuesday morning.