Rod Paige headshot

Rod Paige

Rod Paige severed as the 7th United States Secretary of Education (2001-2005), becoming the first African American to hold this position.

Before his service under the Bush administration, Paige served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1957. He would go on to become the Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University in 1984, establishing the university’s Center for Excellence in Urban Education. As superintendent of the Houston Independent School District beginning in 1994, Paige created the Peer Examination, Evaluation, and Redesign (PEER) program to strengthen school support services. The program’s successes would go on to inspire parts of the No Child Left Behind law that Paige helped develop as Secretary.

Paige earned his bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and his master’s degree and a Doctor of Education degree in Physical Education from Indiana University Bloomington.

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