Rod Paige

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"Former education secretary Rod Paige and his former top aides at the Education Department have organized a consulting group to offer paid advice on policies they helped create and later enforced, including the No Child Left Behind Act," the Associated Press's Ben Feller reported September 19, 2005.

"Paige, who resigned as education secretary 10 months ago, has accepted a post as chairman of the Chartwell Education Group, based in New York. ... The firm, which has begun soliciting business, is seeking clients ranging from state school chiefs to foreign leaders.

"It is not unusual for Washington officials to become consultants after leaving government. But this venture involves almost an entire leadership team from President Bush's first term," Feller wrote.

Paige also made headlines February 25, 2004, when it was reported that he "made a staggeringly stupid comment" when he compared the National Education Association, "the nation's largest teachers' union to a 'terrorist organization' because it [opposed] many elements of the two-year-old No Child Left Behind Act." [1]


According to National Public Radio, Rod Paige, the "son of a principal and a librarian in public schools," [2] became the nation's Secretary of the Department of Education on January 20, 2001, "following the inauguration of an old friend, President George W. Bush." [3]

"An unofficial adviser to Bush for years, Paige is considered a centrist who likes to steer a course that builds a consensus and avoids extreme positions.

"As Secretary of Education, Paige has supported Mr. Bush's No Child Left Behind plan -- especially the provision that holds schools and states responsible for the success of their students. He has encouraged funding to increase the quality and number of teachers and to provide reading education.

"Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Secretary Paige earned a bachelor's degree from Jackson State University in his home state before acquiring a master's degree and a doctorate from Indiana University.

"He is the former dean of the education school at Texas Southern University, where he also served for many years as football coach. As superintendent of schools in Houston, a position he held from 1994 until his appointment as education secretary, he was credited with leading a turnaround at the nation's seventh-largest school district. In 2001, he was named the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators."

Also see Paige's Department of Education biography.

In mid-October 2005 Paige defended the use of Armstrong Williams. "Hindsight is always perfect. Given the position you see now, obviously you'd make changes. But you deal with the information you have at the time."

Paige claimed that the OIG report exonerated the department of any wrongdoing. "I think the report said there were no legal or ethical issues. I think that is correct. I can tell you there was no intention there for anything to be outside the bounds of legality," the Dayton Daily News reported. [4]

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  1. Trustees, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, accessed September 19, 2008.
  2. 2009/10 Annual Report, Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, accessed February 4, 2011.