2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hyde-Smith, Chaney, Browning, Burton, Butler, Clarke, Davis, Dearing, Frazier, Gordon, Harvey, Hewes, Jackson (15th), King, Lee (35th), Little, Michel, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Robertson, Simmons, Thames, Walls, White

Senate Concurrent Resolution 514


     WHEREAS, Dr. Roderick Raynor (Rod) Paige was confirmed by the United States Senate as the 7th United States Secretary of Education on January 20, 2001, following the inauguration of President George W. Bush.  Paige, who grew up in Mississippi, built a career on a belief that education equalizes opportunity, moving from college dean and school superintendent to be the first African-American to serve as the nation's education chief; and

     WHEREAS, on November 15, 2004, Dr. Paige announced his resignation after overseeing the President's education agenda for four years; and

     WHEREAS, born in Monticello, Mississippi, on June 17, 1933, Secretary Paige is the son of public school educators.  He earned a bachelor's degree from Jackson State University in Mississippi and a master's degree and a doctorate from Indiana University at Bloomington; and

     WHEREAS, Paige began working with students early in his career as a teacher and a coach.  He then served for a decade as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University (TSU).  In this position, Paige worked to ensure that future educators would receive the training and expertise necessary to succeed in the classroom.  He also established the university's Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related to instruction and management in urban school systems; and

     WHEREAS, elected in 1989, Paige was sworn in as a trustee and an officer of the Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) in January 1990, in which capacities he served until 1994.  In 1994, Paige left TSU to become superintendent of HISD, the nation's seventh largest school district.  Inside Houston magazine named Paige one of "Houston's 25 most powerful people" in guiding the city's growth and prosperity.  In 2001, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators; and

     WHEREAS, Paige is the first school superintendent to serve as Secretary of Education.  His vast experience as a practitioner, from the blackboard to the boardroom, paid off during the long hours of work needed to pass President Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001"; and

     WHEREAS, he has led the charge, in partnership with states and school districts, to implement these historic reforms.  The law will give local districts the tools and resources they need to help every child learn, regardless of the color of their skin or the accent of their speech.  States and districts have moved forward, working to improve student achievement, empowering parents with options and information, providing supplemental services such as free tutoring to students in danger of being left behind in the classroom, and tapping new sources of talented teachers to help students excel in our nation's classrooms.  By June 2003, every state, including Mississippi, had an approved accountability plan in place to ensure that every student was learning; and

     WHEREAS, as Secretary, Paige has held the Department of Education to the same high standards expected of our schools.  The department-wide implementation of Dr. Paige's blueprint streamlined operations, and provided strategic direction, resources and focus for the department's central mission to ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence throughout the nation.  As a result of this work, the department received its second clean financial audit in a row in fiscal year 2003, only the third in the 24-year history of the department.  The department's accomplishment also received the highest praise from the federal Office of Management and Budget; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the outstanding performance and dedicated career of this Mississippian whose vision for public education has strengthened school support and programs:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the legacy of public service of Dr. Roderick R. (Rod) Paige of Monticello, Mississippi, the first school superintendent to serve as United States Secretary of Education, on the occasion of his retirement from office, and extend to him and his family the best wishes of the Legislature on his future professional activities.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be forwarded to Mississippi's congressional delegation and the United States Department of Education, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.