Sunday, November 21, 2004

Ode To Rod Paige 

Here's an extremely complimentary article about Rob Paige's tenure as Secretary of Education by Chester Finn, Jr., President of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. From the column:

What he was, however - what he is - is a dedicated educator of children, and a crusader for better opportunities for the poorest and neediest among them. A black man who rose from the humblest start in Jim Crow's Mississippi - a product of segregated schools - he became a teacher, coach, administrator, counselor, dean, school-board member, and, in time, the reforming superintendent of the largest school system in Texas.

I met Mr. Paige two years ago when I helped arrange him to speak at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy as part of C-Span's Student's and Leaders Program. After a short presentation the students in attendance were permitted to ask questions. The first one was "What does it mean to you to be the first African American Secretary of Education?" His answer - "Its not relevant."

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