2001 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Harvey, King, Farris, Chaney, Thames, Dearing, Harden, Hamilton, Frazier, Walls, Jackson, Lee, Cuevas, Carmichael, Chamberlin, Mettetal, Blackmon, Jordan, Browning, Burton, Scoper, Nunnelee, Hewes, Williamson, Stogner, Furniss, Ross, Hyde-Smith, Moffatt, Robertson, Johnson (19th), Canon, Kirby, Johnson (38th), Smith, Little, Carlton, Dawkins, Gordon, White (29th), White (5th), Huggins, Posey, Minor, Simmons

Senate Concurrent Resolution 556


WHEREAS, Dr. Rod Paige, Sr., President George W. Bush's choice for Secretary of the U.S. Office of Education, is a native of Lawrence County, Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Paige has been Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District since 1994, and is credited with improving performance in the district--the largest in Texas and the 7th largest school district in America--and making it one of the best regarded urban school systems in the country; and

WHEREAS, before taking the superintendent's job, Dr. Paige served on the school system's board and as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University; and

WHEREAS, the National Alliance of Black School Educators named him their Superintendent of the Year, and he was named outstanding urban educator by the Council of Great City Schools in 1999; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Paige received his basic education in the public schools in the great State of Mississippi, graduated from Lawrence County Training School (Monticello, Mississippi) and Jackson State College (now Jackson State University), earned the master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University, taught and coached football in Mississippi at Sumner Hill High School, Utica Junior College and Jackson State University; and served as assistant football coach at the University of Cincinnati and as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Texas Southern University; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Paige is one of the longest-serving superintendents in America and his professional achievements are a matter of record: was named as one of the twenty most influential Texans in the September 2000 issue of The Texan Monthly; is recognized as one of America's foremost authorities on education; The Education Week newspaper (October 9, 2000) called him "one of the country's best-known and most highly regarded superintendents"; has won one of the nation's most prestigious education awards, the Harold W. McGraw, Jr., Prize in Education (September 2000); in October 1999 he was named America's most outstanding urban educator and was awarded the Richard R. Green Award by the Council of the Great City Schools; was named the National Superintendent of the Year by the National Alliance of Black School Educators (November 2000); was named the Texas nominee for the National Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Administrators (November 2000); and in October 1997, The Oregonian chose him as one of the ten "dream superintendents." The newspaper chose Dr. Paige after asking urban-education experts across the country to name the ten best; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Paige has dedicated his life to demonstrating the potential that can be harnessed on behalf of the children. Under his leadership the achievement levels of students (in Houston) have improved over time in every category for every group of students. In fact, the gap between student groups shrank even as all groups have improved; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Paige credits his parents for his strong belief in learning and commitment to positive work ethics; his mother was a teacher and librarian and his father a school administrator in his early career and later a County Agent with the Cooperative Extension Service, and his sister, Raygene, is a respected educator; and

WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the professional and civic achievements of this Mississippian who has brought honor to his family, his community, his school and to his native State of Mississippi:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend President Bush's appointment and the United States Senate's confirmation of Dr. Rod Paige, Sr., as Secretary of the U.S. Office of Education and wish continued success to this respected Mississippian in his new role influencing the future direction of public education in America.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to Dr. Paige and his family and be forwarded to members of Mississippi's congressional delegation.