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African-American Educator Helps Push Mitt Romney’s Education Agenda

Named Mitt Romney’s special adviser on education last month, Dr. Rod Paige has re-entered the leading ranks of national education policymaking he inhabited when he was President George W. Bush’s education secretary from 2001 to 2005. Since the department’s establishment in 1980, Paige remains the only African-American to have served as U.S. education secretary. His previous jobs include Jackson State University head football coach, dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, and superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

Interviewed by the’s Cynthia Gordy, Paige offered his views on the Republican presidential candidate’s education agenda, including those on Romney’s vow to either merge the Education Department with another agency or to significantly reduce its size.

Says Paige:

“My view of it is that Gov. Romney wants the Department of Education to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. He’s stated that he does see a federal role in education — and that’s different from some of the people who have been calling for the Department of Education to go away. So for a new leader to come in and say he wants to take a look at the agency and make sure that it is an efficient organization, operating at a cost that is effective, I think is entirely appropriate.”

For the entire interview, click here.

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