9th Annual Scholarship & Award Luncheon
Dr. Rod Paige
Secretary of Education (2001 - 2005)
Dr. Rod Paige is a life-long educator and served as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. As Secretary, Dr. Paige was an unstinting advocate of student achievement, employing "best of breed" solutions to achieve results towards the Department's goal of raising national standards of educational excellence.
Dr. Paige earned his reputation for seeking out and implementing innovative approaches to systemic academic improvement when he served as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University. While there he established the University's Center for Excellence in Urban Education. He has also shown a knack for inclusive leadership, first as a trustee and then as Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, then the nation's seventh largest district. In his quest to improve the quality of education for all students, he is an active member of several highly respected boards, including the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, The Broad Foundation, the Amercian College of Education, the New England College of Finance and Business and the National Council of Economic Education's Commission on the Skills of the Amercian Workforce, among other organizations.
Following his time in the Cabinet, Dr. Paige served as a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In his 2006 book, The War Against Hope, Dr. Paige descibes how teachers' unions have negatively impacted our children's academic achievement, hindered teachers and hurt public education. Most recently in February 2010, Dr. Paige and co-author Dr. Elaine Witty authored The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing It is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time. In it, the authors issues a clarion call to civil rights and African American leadership to focus intently on addressing the educational achievement gap as the greatest barrier to racial equality and social justice in America.
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