Reason Foundation education whiz Lisa Snell, writing over at the Foundation's Out of Control blog, sees cause to be optimistic about the Chicago public schools chief.

There are really two reasons to like Duncan. On the one hand Chicago public schools have only shown moderate improvement during Duncan's tenure. On the other hand, Duncan embraces two public school ideas that have the potential to revolutionize public schools in the United States.

First, Duncan is a robust supporter of charter schools. [...]

The second reason to like Arne Duncan is that he understands and embraces the idea that per-pupil funding should follow students into schools. Chicago has been experimenting with a pilot weighted student formula-type program under Arne Duncan's seven-year tenure.

Whole thing here. Read Snell's reason archive here.

Speaking of Obama's appointments, I had flung some poo the other week at the reported consideration of L.A. political hack Xavier Becerra as U.S. trade representative, but now it looks like Becerra is withdrawing from consideration.