[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/16/transition.wrap/art.tue.afp.gi.jpg caption="Arne Duncan listens Tuesday as President-elect Obama announces him as his choice for education secretary."]
President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Arne Duncan, the head of the Chicago public schools, to serve as his administration's Secretary of Education.
"When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners," Obama said. "For Arne, school reform isn't just a theory in a book - it's the cause of his life."
"When faced with tough decisions, Arne doesn't blink. He's not beholden to any one ideology - and he doesn't hesitate for one minute to do what needs to be done," Obama stated.
The president-elect made the announcement at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois. He was joined by Duncan and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.
Duncan has headed the Illinois city's public schools district since 2001. It's the third-largest in the nation.
Like Obama, he is a graduate of Harvard University.
Duncan also worked for six years with the Ariel Education Initiative, which tried to create educational opportunities for inner-city students on Chicago's South Side.
Obama and Duncan often play basketball together, and Duncan was one of those who played with the president-elect in a game on Election Day.
Also Tuesday, the president-elect planned to meet with key members of his economic team.
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