Guest Speaker Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige --- Education, Then & Now
Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige was the featured speaker at March 12 meeting of Tri County Republican Women. He spoke of his successes both at the local and federal level, why there was success, and what is missing today for educating our youth.
Rod Paige served as the 7th United States Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. Paige, who grew up in Mississippi, moved from classroom teacher to college dean and school superintendent to be the first African American to serve as the nation's education chief. Secretary Paige was sitting with George W. Bush at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, when Bush received the news that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Prior to becoming Secretary of Education, he had a lengthy career in education in the Houston area. Paige was a teacher at Texas Southern University from 1980 to 1984 and became the Dean of the College of Education in 1984, where he served until 1994.
As a trustee and an officer of the Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) from 1989 to 1994, Paige coauthored the board's 'A Declaration of Beliefs and Visions', a statement of purpose and goals for the school district that called for fundamental reform through decentralization, a focus on instruction, accountability at all levels, and development of a core curriculum.
Paige became the superintendent of schools of Houston ISD in 1994. As superintendent, Paige created the Peer Examination, Evaluation, and Redesign (PEER) program, which solicits recommendations from business and community professionals for strengthening school support services and programs. He started a system of charter schools that have broad authority in decisions regarding staffing, textbooks, and materials.
As the Secretary of Education, the No Child Left Behind law that set new accountability standards nationwide was developed with Paige's help, and it was Paige's Department of Education that implemented the law. The Bush White House's development of the principles of No Child Left Behind drew in part on the successes of the Houston Independent School District under Paige.