From 2005 to 2009, Margaret Spellings served as the U.S. secretary of education, where she had responsibility for implementing No Child Left Behind. The bipartisan initiative, which President George W. Bush signed into law in 2002, provided greater accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students. From 2001 to 2005, the University of Houston graduate was chief domestic policy advisor for President Bush.
Spellings worked for President Bush both before and after his time in the White House. She served as a senior advisor to President Bush when he was governor of Texas, and she was named the president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in 2013. In 2016, Spellings was appointed the president of the University of North Carolina System.
In this ‘A’ Word interview, Spellings recalls that before school accountability gained traction in No Child Left Behind, it was all too easy for schools to hide the performances of low-achieving students, many of whom came from disadvantaged homes and minority families. Today, she emphasizes, we need to remember why it is so important that all students achieve their potential. Nothing less than the health of our democracy is at stake.
We are about to start doing some things here in North Carolina. One is making sure our colleges of education are teaching teachers to do the best work possible, using what we know about reading and research, for example.- Margaret Spellings
Read the full interview by Annie Wicks and William McKenzie about school accountability from The 74
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